|Series:||Season's Original #3|
|Pub. Date:||Oct. 4, 2016|
This is my first read by Vivienne Lorret, despite having bought the earlier books in this series. I just haven't been able to fit them into my schedule yet... but accepting a review copy is always a way to get something cemented on my calendar. I quite liked her writing style, so I will hopefully work the other books into the calendar before too much longer. Despite not having read the earlier books, I felt like I was fine reading this third book. There may have been some character crossover, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything that was required to follow the story.
This is a second chance romance where our H/h have become angst-filled enemies. Lady Juliet White was angling to become the Season's Original and marry the Marquess of Engle when she is found in a compromising position with his brother, Maxwell Hartwick. Between Juliet's fears and her father's debts, she seemingly takes the easy way out and flees to Bath to marry the older (and rich) Lord Granworth. Now widowed and gun shy after a humiliating marriage, Juliet has returned to London to find herself again. I had mixed feelings about Juliet, Lady Granworth. She was a little hot and cold for my normal tastes, but I ended up liking her in the end. I understood that her first husband was a piece of work, but I hated that she seemed to paint Max with the same brush sometimes. But other than that, she was a solid heroine. She was fashionable and flirty, with a side of vulnerability that was easy to relate to.
Maxwell Hartwick started off life as a neglected second son, in name if not by blood. Having his heart broken by Juliet only compounded the rejection and "not quite good enough" feelings that Max has lived with most of his life. Living in his older half-brother's shadow, Max made a sympathetic hero that definitely deserved inheriting the title of Marquess of Thayne from a distant relative. It's too bad that he became embittered after Juliet's rejection, because when she returns to London, he wants nothing more than to make her leave again. Despite his broken heart, it becomes apparent that Max is not quite as jaded as he wants to be. He is undeniably (still) drawn to Juliet and doesn't engage in any activity that would truly cause her harm. I hated that she was hot and cold with him because I was really wanted a happy ending for Max.
I liked that this relationship was both enemies-to-lovers and second chance romance... I don't often seen those tropes combined, especially in historicals. These two had a combustible chemistry that they both denied, which led to them picking at one another and engaging in fun pranks and flirty banter. Max was more willing to forgive the past than Juliet, and I didn't quite understand all of her hangups. But in the end, I was glad I got to go on the journey with them.
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that I received at no cost from the publisher, Avon.