by Jennifer McQuiston
Series: Seduction Diaries #2
Pub. Date: Nov. 24, 2015
In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McQuiston's enticing new Seduction Diaries entry, a mysterious journal may provide a potential spinster with instruction—or lead her to her heart's desire...
Free-spirited Lucy Westmore isn't yet a spinster, although she fully intends to be. Fortunately, an eccentric aunt has left her both a diary detailing the secrets to spinsterhood and a cottage in Cornwall. Unfortunately, an insufferable marquess is angling for her prize! Turning Lord Thomas Branston down flat should be easy. So why does this man who won't take no for an answer make Lucy's body and soul sigh yes?
Thomas knows the real value of Heathmore Cottage, and he has no intention of letting some silly Society miss get her hands on it. He'll simply have to charm Lucy into selling. But the clever young woman he encounters, first in London, then en route to Cornwall, stands stubbornly on her own two (quite lovely) feet. And now, Thomas can think only of sweeping her off them.
This is my first read from Jennifer McQuiston, although I have had What Happens in Scotland shelved for a long time. We are off to a good start with The Spinster's Guide to Scandalous Behavior, so I will definitely try to move the other books up my TBR list. This is the 2nd installment of the Seduction Diaries series, and I obviously have not read the first, which featured the current heroine's sister. There were some mentions of the sister, but not to the extent that I felt lost without reading the first book.
Lucy Westmore is a 21 y/o eccentric aspiring spinster who has inherited a remote dilapidated cottage in Cornwall from an eccentric spinster aunt. Unfortunately, Lucy's father decided he could act in Lucy's stead and sell it to Lord Thomas Branston. Lucy renigs on the sale, latching onto the property as freedom from her family's expectations and the season they are forcing upon her. I empathized with Lucy's plight - it must have been very hard to follow societal dictates back then to be a mild and meek female whose sole purpose was to make a beneficial marriage, often to an unappealing stranger. I liked her impertinent impulsive behavior at first, as I would have probably been the same way in her situation. However he stubborn obstinance grated on me in the 2nd half of the book... I wish she could have gotten with a program a little sooner.
Thomas Branston is a broken and broody marquess hiding out from his demons on the Cornish coast. In the tiny town of Lizard Bay, Lucky's eccentric aunt (Miss E) had taken Thomas under her wing. So when Miss E dies, he wants to make sure her property is not sold off to the highest bidder. This has Thomas pairing off with the not-so-biddable Lucy Westmore. I loved that Thomas was a bit of a botany nerd and chose to live simply among the town folk instead of exhibiting his status and wealth in London (which he could have done despite the scandal). I really liked Thomas' character, and felt he truly had limitless patience to continue dealing with Lucy's mistrust and headstrong ways.
I really loved the snippets of Miss E's diary woven throughout the story. Her memoirs were humorous and somewhat sad at the same time. I wish Lucy would have finished the volumes sooner and learned the ultimate lesson her aunt was trying to impart, because it was very important. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.