Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
Lily Somerset’s plan for the London season is simple: courtship, marriage to a respectable gentleman, then the comfortable existence of a proper Lady. That is, until one tiny misstep leaves Lily on the edge of social ruin, forcing her to depend on a wicked rogue to save her reputation.
Robyn Sutherland doesn’t save reputations—he sullies them. He’d rather be drawn and quartered than find himself spending the season as Lily’s escort. But he has no choice but to stay until her tattered standing is mended. What begins as a ruse to deceive London soon flames into an uncontrollable passion. Robyn calls to the wild spirit that lurks beneath Lily’s prim exterior, and Lily awakens the hero’s heart within Robyn. But can these unlikely lovers trust themselves enough to let desire overrule reason?
I have been looking forward to this book since I finished A Wicket Way to Win an Earl. This author is a joy and her book continued my love of her voice and character driven stories. The hero and heroine go through transformations that had me wanting to read even when real life interfered.
Robyn is truly a forgotten son; never in line for a title he is the fun loving rogue who does not see any problems with his lifestyle. While hiding away in a dark room he awaits a tryst with a married woman but instead he gets a too prim virgin who also happens to be his sister in law. Now he must help her navigate the ton’s un-approving eye in order to secure a favorable reputation and marriage.
Lily wants order in her life. She is looking to attract the eye of a certain lord who is as boring and reserved as she is. It is unfortunate that she gets a taste of passion while being mistaken for an eager partner, but the moment has changed her forever, even though it takes some time before she realizes it. After the scandal is revealed (in the gossip papers) she tries even harder to keep her life stable as is starts to spin out of control. The two can’t seem to be together without someone finding some fault and their antics were hilarious.
With new found fame comes Lily’s grandmother back into her life, at first wary about a woman who abandoned her mother, she realizes her grandmother wants to make amends for past mistakes. Lily soon becomes the bell of the ball and the scandals fade away, it is amazing how much weight her grandmother has. As she becomes more popular, Robyn is finding it hard to watch, only now realizing what she means to him.
I love the Sutherland and Somerset families, in the first book we meet the Somerset sisters who are just emerging from the scandal that had their mother leaving the area and their grandmother abandoning them. But they are back and with one sister married to a Sutherland, the others are bound to have engaging adventures of their own.
Robyn is adorable. His relationships with both his brother and his friends are fun loving and entertaining. Yet we see a darker side of him, one where he could never live up to his father, and stopped trying. I loved his relationship with Lily from beginning to end. They were friends originally and although they experienced the kiss of a lifetime in a dark room, they try to keep their friendship alive, but the witty banter and continually getting in trouble seemed to bring their relationship to a new level, I often had a smile on my face as I read about their antics.
Lily tried hard to be a person that would never cause a scandal; she never wanted their family name to be the cause of whispers and rumors as they were in the past. However she is having a hard time keeping herself above it all as she is continuously in the gossip column whenever she and Robyn are seen together. It is only when her grandmother comes back into her life does she rise above the scandals, but she begins to miss her friend. As much as she tries to stay away, there is something that pulls them back together and the combustion is amazing. I did dread how often Lily turned her back on him, but that is probably just me wanting them to get together faster than the author planned.
As I said in the beginning, Ms. Bradley is becoming an author who I will automatically buy, her stories are entertaining and I love the characters she has created. Although this is the second in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone as the author keeps the reader informed. This is a fun, quick read and stories like this are the reason I keep coming back to the historical genre.
I give A Season of Ruin by Anna Bradley 4.25 stars!