Author: Jenna Jaxon
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Handful of Hearts Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Rising Phoenix Publications
Format: ebook via The Romance Reviews
Synopsis: Follow your heart to find your desire.
Miss Katherine Locke is irked to start her third season dancing with the disagreeable Lord Haversham, her brother’s friend and her own arch enemy. After three years out, however, she’s finally interested in the dashing Lord Finley—only to find out her cousin has set her cap for him too. To make the man jealous, Kate feigns interest in Lord Haversham, only to be shocked to find the handsome lord apparently falling for her. With time running out, should she accept his suit and risk falling in love despite herself?
Marcus, Lord Haversham, is in a tight pinch. His estates are failing and worse, he’s just lost three thousand pounds to his best friend, Lord Ainsley. Ainsley’s solution: have Marcus marry his shrewish sister and he’ll cancel his gambling debt plus give him ten thousand more pounds for her dowry. With nowhere to turn, Marcus agrees, praying he can keep word of the wager from Miss Locke long enough to charm her into marrying him. But can he avoid falling in love, himself?
Whoa. This might very well be my favorite novella of the year!
Kate is in her third season and her prospects for marriage are growing thin. But despite her brother's insistence that she take her suitors more seriously, Kate just can't see herself settling down with any of the boring men that she has encountered. The only man who can get a rise out of her is the one she absolutely despises.
Marcus is also facing a serious problem. His family's estate is in dire need of a financial boost. Marrying a woman with a healthy dowry could change his fate. But when his friend suggests that he woo Kate in order to clear his debt, Marcus can't believe his ears. Marry the woman of his nightmares? Absolutely not.
It's just too bad for Marcus that he doesn't really have a choice but to take up the offer to wed Kate and be absolved of his debt. And Kate realizes that Marcus just may be her last chance of finding a husband. Against her better judgement, she tries to give the idea of their coupling a chance. Surprisingly, she finds that her nemesis just might be her best match.
This book left me wanting more, in the best way. I loved the characters and their bantering. I was disappointed when the story fast-forwarded through the courtship. I would have liked to see more of that and definitely think the plot and characters could have lent themselves well to a full-length novel. There were plenty of opportunities for romance and humor that the author missed by skipping over this portion of the story.
But what I did get, I loved! And when the secret was revealed, as all good secrets always are, I might have started shouting at my Kindle...
I would love to get my hands on the first novella of this series as it sounds like a fun ride, too. For this one: 5 suns!