From country miss to London duchess!
Sophie Trevelyan has been enjoying her visit to London, even if her closest companion is an overweight pug! Then she encounters the dashing Duke of Harcourt, who intrigues her more than is strictly proper
Max knows he must marry. He’s looking for the opposite of his high-spirited fiancee, who died some years ago, so he tries to keep his distance from bubbly Sophie. But when her life is endangered, Max feels compelled to rescue her with a very unexpected proposal!
Years ago Max made a deal with his father that he would marry within ten years if his father agreed for max joining the army. Max had many reasons to want to go off to war not only to do his duty for his country, but he had experienced a terrible heartache and he needed to forget. He would have signed away the crown jewels if it would have resulted in his getting the much sought after commission, but luckily for him his father was happy as long as Max agreed to his terms. He could join the army as long as he came home again, and he would marry when Max turned thirty-one, making sure that the title carried on within their blood lines. Bargain made, Max went off to war.
Ten years later Max is now the mighty Duke of Harcourt and the bargain he made his father all those years ago now has to be fulfilled. There is a problem though; Max can not think of anything worse that going through the debacle that is; the ton courting g system. He isn’t the same man who went away to war, he has changed, has seen many terrible and grisly thing’s in his years at war he and all Max wants now is peace and quiet. He is scarred by what he witnessed and experienced, but as a dutiful man he knows that his has got to grin and bear it, no matter how uncomfortable he is with the whole process and how utterly irritating the candidates are. He would very happily go back on the front line again, that is until he meets the spitfire that is Sophie Trevelyan.
Damn girl. It was just like her to go to the one room in the whole Academy, she was absolutely forbidden to enter. He found her easily enough, the moment he entered the inner room. She was staring in wonder at the tightly packed nude paintings and studies that covered the wall space.
“For heaven’s sake, you can’t come in here.” Max said sternly, while grasping her arm and drawing her towards the correct at the other end of the corridor.
“Why not? I would have thought that was obvious! This part of the Academy is not for well-bred young women.”
She turned to him with the amused twinkle in her eyes, which he was becoming very familiar with and which did nothing to lower his guard.
“I know that’s what people say, but it’s rather ridiculous isn’t it? There’s hardly anything here a woman hasn’t already seen, if anything! I would have thought this wasn’t the room for well-bred young men.”
Max had to make a considerable effort not to laugh at this rather original view on the matter. She really was absurdly peculiar. . .
Sophie is a little rocket! She’s little chatterbox she thinks and speaks at hundred an miles an hour, but her intelligence would rival a some of the greatest a minds a of the day. She’s a friendly outgoing young woman who living ahead of her times, she doesn’t like being constrained by rules and tonish procedure she is a free spirit, who see the world as nothing but sunshine and flowers. She doesn’t let anything get in her way, and I really love that about Sophie. Lara Temple has created a fabulous young woman who is so likable and what’s more, so relevant for our time. It is such a lovely change to read a Historical Romance book where the heroine just outshines and outsmarts the hero.
From the first few pages I got a very strong impression of her, if Sophie was living a different era I rather think she would be a bit of a hippy or a suffragette…Yes I can see our Sophie chaining herself to a some railings. And this is what I really like about her, she is a perfect feminist she is bold and beautiful and she is proud of her own accomplishments and her eccentricity.
Max is fabulous! I can never resist a dog loving, fragile man and he is just that personified, his a treasure. He is a proud, honour bound and dutiful man who takes his responsibility’s very seriously he is your typical vulnerable, scarred and roguish military man. What I really love about Max is (not just the fact that he can get spoilt pugs begging for attention.) that he has a great wit, a cynical one but it’s fabulous. He sees life as black and white and he is very happy to continue through his life just like that.
Another thing that I really love about this – and the thing that Lara has got spot on – is how Max is very accommodating and supportive to Sophie, how he doesn’t look at her eccentric personality with scorn or embarrassment as a lot of people do, he welcomes her uniqueness and in doing so steals many hearts and you find yourself falling even further under his spell.
This is a classy, well put together and superbly entertaining book about how people who are so different can find love in the most unexpected places. Sophie and Max or a joy to get to know, I also love the third main character in the tale; Marmaduke, the fat, temperamental and spoilt pug who is such a fabulous addition to the story, it is one of those homely and everyday details that everyone can relate to. I do like Lara’s work, she writes solid and strong Historical Romance which can be enjoyed across the generations.
This was an ARC complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Dukes Unexpected Bride is released 1st May and you can find it at Amazon for more information check out Lara’s Website.