Jennifer Wenn! Lady Francesca Darling has known she would marry Devlin Ross, Duke of Hereford, from the tender age of five. Not having seen him for thirteen years, she still harbors her young crush and when she runs into him again at her debutante ball, her feelings come crashing back and intensify into an adult longing. Devlin has decided long ago not to marry and be the kind of father his father was to him, cold and cruel but something about Fanny makes him reconsider. Maybe he can marry and be happy but then tuck her away in the countryside with their children and stay away....or maybe Fanny has her own intentions and will never let that happen. Watching how this all resolves itself, with plenty of help from her loving, interfering family is a delight to read!
I enjoy stories that have large, lovingly meddlesome families and Fanny is part of a wonderful one! The first female born in years, she is spoiled and indulged but it has shaped her into an honest young lady with a kind, generous heart. I enjoyed watching all the interactions between her parents, brothers and uncles and how close they are were with each other. This is a huge adjustment for Devlin who was an only child and is not used to the boisterousness of a large family. Even though he has been friends with Fanny's uncle for years, it is still a hard adjustment and he handles it badly at first and it causes quite a strain on Fanny and Devlin's relationship. His fear of being a rotten father is also handled well and I admired how he came to realize how happy he can be as a father and husband and not just as a husband. Warm, sexy and delightful, I thoroughly enjoyed this romance and am looking forward to more of this wonderful family finding their happily-ever-afters! 4 stars
*review copy provided by author, thanks!!
Book blurb from Goodreads:
Devlin Ross, the Duke of Hereford, has long ago made a vow to himself to break the curse his father has cast upon him by mentally abuse him throughout his childhood by never marry or have a family of his own. But when he meets Lady Francesca Darling, his best friend's merry niece, he can't help himself - he must have her.
Fanny, who fell in love with Devlin when she was a mere five years old in that obnoxious, stalking way only a child can, didn't hesitate when it came to her feelings towards him. She had loved him dearly for thirteen years and would not let her interfering relatives stand in the way between her and lifelong happiness.
But was she stubborn enough to make him realize exactly how simple-minded he was when it came to fulfilling the vow he once made?