Why this one: It was an impulse purchase. I’ve read her in the past and quite enjoyed her books but I’m not reading as many historicals these days so she kind of slipped my radar
Steam Level: Nice and toasty warm
Blurb: Charming, wealthy and wickedly handsome, Oliver "Beau" Blackthorn has it all…except revenge on the enemy he can't forget. Now the opportunity for retribution has fallen into his hands. But his success hinges on Lady Chelsea Mills–Peckman—the one woman with the power to distract him from his quest.
Desperate to escape her family's control, Lady Chelsea seizes the chance to run off with the notorious eldest Blackthorn brother, knowing she's only a pawn in his game. But as Beau draws her deep into a world of intrigue, danger and explosive passion, does she dare hope he'll choose love over vengeance?
My Thoughts: While I was reading this book I wondered why I hadn’t been reading as many historicals in recent times as I really enjoyed this book – everything about it. From the stubborn but not annoying (to me) heroine Chelsea Mills-Beckham, to the scrumptious hero Oliver (Beau) Blackthorn to the well drawn secondary characters, this book was such a pleasure to read.
Beau and Chelsea first meet years earlier when he is coming to call on her older and very spoiled sister. But alas, his suite is not at all welcome as he has the unfortunate stigma of being a bastard born. Not only is he thrown out of the home, he is whipped like a dog by the older brother.
Fast forward to years later and Chelsea is all grown up and about to be married against her will and wishes to a wet-mouthed dour reverend who has a secret hate on for women. Her brother, still a nasty piece, has changed his ways after a real scare with chicken pox and embraced the horrid man of the cloth. In order to escape this farce of a wedding,
Chelsea high tails it to the home of Beau and suggests they elope to Gretna Green, she to avoid marriage and to Beau’s benefit a way to get back for the humiliation done to him years ago. Beau agrees to the scheme to ‘get even’. Beau is currently being visited by his devil-may-care brother Puck and the three of them set off on a road trip to Gretna Green.
I found this book charming. I loved the character of Chelsea. I can see why she might get on some readers nerves, she’s quite bossy, but Beau or Oliver as she kept insisting on calling him, thought she was a ‘character’ and when the readers sees her through his eyes, well, I thought she was one too.
And Beau makes for a most fine hero. Although he’s been limited in society by his bastard status, he’s still managed to make a good life for himself. He made good friends when he joined the army after being treated so cruelly years earlier. He’s making a successful living looking after his fathers estates even though he can’t inherit them. While not wild about his situation and he does hold a certain anger at his parents because of their selfishness, especially his mother, he doesn’t hold any bitterness.
I also love the character of Puck, the youngest brother. He is with Beau and Chelsea much of the time and seems to be a real hoot. His book is out now too and although it didn’t get that high a grade at AAR, I still think I’ll give it a go if only to read more on the third rather mysterious black sheep brother Jack.
With books like this one out there, I think I’m going to have to rethink my reading habits and take up reading more historicals.
Grade: 4.75 out of 5