March 28, 2011
I've heard excuses before but this one takes the cake!
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady is the third in the Hellions of Halsted series and if you're following that series, I think you'll be satisfied with this one...if you haven't been following the series, you may have trouble keeping up with some of the goings-on.
We are once again in the interesting world of the scandalous Sharpe family. Have you ever noticed that a lot of scandalous Romanceland families aren't really that scandalous. Anyway, the saga continues and for those of you that haven't read the other ones, there is a continuing mystery of the Sharpe sibling's parents death that is yet to be solved...and we have another red herring in this book...a flimsy one, but red nonetheless.
So, in this story we have Giles, who is a barrister. However, he has also done some covert work for the British home office (what a busy place that must have been.) It is during one of these stealthy times that our heroine, Minerva, encounters him rifling through a desk. Well, as often happens in Romanceland, this encounter leads to a broken heart on Minerva's part and a "she's not the little sister of my best friend anymore, I must stay away from her" awakening on the hero's part. Fast forward nine years. Minerva is being forced to marry and if you've read the other books you will know why. Anyway, she doesn't want to marry, she wants to be a writer in a cottage...so she comes up with a plan. The plan is rather funny. Of course, the plan backfires and ends up with her being forced into marriage with Giles...and it is here that some of the issues I had with this book raised their ugly head.
Trust. Giles has trust issues...who'd have thunk it? A spy with trust issues!!! You know he cannot trust Minerva with the truth!!! Sigh. This trust issue of Giles went on w-a-y too long. Love. He also can never l-u-v anyone...and when the reason for his not wanting to fall in love is revealed I had a chuckle moment and I don't think I was supposed to. This had to be one of the silliest reasons I've ever read for not falling in love. Pretty goofy. And then there were the brothers!!! Giles is supposed to be best friends with the Sharpe brothers, so, I found it interesting that her brothers overreacted to Minerva's wedding him. There were some amusing moments in these confrontations, but I felt sorry for Giles in his choice of friends. If not for those annoyances, this would have been an excellent book. I absolutely loved Minerva, even if at times she exhibited some of those "wanting to charge into danger" moments...she was such a strong personality that these occasions were in character.
Overall, those were just minor things and I did enjoy this story...loved Minerva and I'm liking the mystery. And Mr. Pinter is a scene stealer. I haven't guessed yet who did it.
Time/Place: Late Regency England (ugly dress time)
Sensuality Rating: Hot