The Improper Bride by Lily Maxton
Series: Sisters of Scandal #5
on January 25th 2016
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Cold, arrogant, and demanding Henry Eldridge, Marquess of Riverton, would never dally with a mere servant. But when Henry is injured in a horrible fire, his pretty housekeeper Cassandra nurses him back to health, throwing them together day and night. As he slowly heals from his burns, their friendship blossoms, and the class walls between them start to crumble. Cassandra is surprised by glimpses of a kind and thoughtful man beneath her employer’s hard façade—and even more surprised when she develops tender feelings for him. But anything between lord and servant is impossible...and besides, as a widow, she knows love only leads to heartbreak.
Henry is changing, as well. His close brush with death has opened his eyes to his self-imposed emotional isolation...and has urgently reminded him of his duty to marry a well-bred lady and produce an heir. Determined to do right by his family name, he immediately begins searching for a suitable bride. But Cassandra is the only woman who is never far from his mind or his heart. Contrary to everything he’s been taught to believe, he realizes his lovely housekeeper might just be his perfect match. Now, if only he could convince everyone else of that. Especially Cassandra...
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I really loved The Improper Bride. It’s one of those new easy to read historicals with all the cool, beautiful things from the time but without the more complicated to read but era-appropriate language (at least for me).
Here we have Henry, Marquess of Riverton, future Duke and Lord of Pompousness. Cassandra had been working as his housekeeper for three years before a tragic fire traps Henry and injures him, causing scarring to an arm and one side of his face which forces him to take a hard look at himself and his life. Before he can make any changes he must recover from his ordeal, and Cassandra is charged with keeping him occupied and entertained so he won’t fall into despair.
The apparently forced time together sows the seed of curiosity on Henry about his young widowed housekeeper and lets Cassandra see another side to Henry’s persona… sometimes.
Once Henry’s health is regained he is set on fulfilling the expectations set on any peer of the realm, that is, to marry and produce an heir. He throws a house party where some appropriate and eligible ladies are invited so he can just, once and for all, pick the one most appropriate for marriage. All of this, of course, is good in theory but he just can’t stop thinking about Cassandra, even if she is a mere servant. For her part, Cassandra married and then lost her husband when she was very young and her heart never fully recovered from that loss.
Their attraction has many challenges to overcome, not only from the ton, Henry’s parents, and society in general, but they both have some issues of their own to work through. I found this story very engaging, Henry really was a pompous ass, but he had a playful, romantic side hidden deep down… deep, deep down. Cassandra was a very smart, capable woman. And while I agreed with her when she lost her patience with Henry (he really was an ass), her inability to self-reflect on her own issues started to get on my nerves.
Still I liked them both very much. Henry’s sister was the shit, the general pace was great it had some steam, romance and I found it quite sweet, considering I just wanted to cuddle poor little Henry by the end of the book. Definitely a good read.
Sparkles’ Rating: 4 Stars
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