Author: Candace Camp
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Paperback via Reading Alley
Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Candace Camp comes a delicious and steamy marriage-of-convenience historical romance in A Perfect Gentleman.
Forced to marry an American heiress to save his family, Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair, vowed their marriage would be in name only. Abigail Price thought handsome, aristocratic Graeme was her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from her overbearing father. But when she was spurned by her husband on their wedding night, Abigail fled home to New York.
Now, years later, Abigail has returned. But this sophisticated, alluring woman is not the drab girl Graeme remembers. Appalled by her bold American ways but drawn to her beauty, Graeme follows her on a merry chase through London’s elegant ballrooms to its dockside taverns—why is his wife back? What could she want of him now?
Torn between desire and suspicion, Graeme fears that Abby, like her unprincipled father, has a devious plan to ruin him. But is Abigail’s true desire Graeme’s destruction...or winning his love at last?
When you find yourself unexpectedly drawn to... your wife?
Graeme is a married man, now. Yet, the moment the vows are spoken, he knows he's been duped into a marriage by his wife's scheming American father. In a moment of anger, Graeme takes his frustration out on his new bride, Abigail. To no one's surprise, she flees back across the pond. And she stays there. For ten years. But now she's back, much to Graeme's dismay.
Abby isn't the same young, starry-eyed woman that she was when she wed a decade prior. She's built a life for herself, independent and meaningful. And she's managed to escape from under her father's repressive thumb. But she's still missing what she's wanted all along: a real marriage and children.
Determined to at least obtain one of those things, Abby makes the journey to England and propositions her absentee husband. He needs an heir and she wants a baby. It's a win-win for both of them. That is, if they can stand to be in the same room with each other long enough to conceive a child.
Soon, our couple find that while intimacy and lust may come easy, their relationship has become inherently more complicated. Feelings rise to the surface, secrets lead to dangerous consequences, and someone is out for revenge against the Montclairs. Everyone is suspect while Graeme and Abby discover they have more to lose than just their hearts.
In the very first chapter, my heart broke for Abby. I teared up after only a few pages because the innocence of her thoughts of grandeur and hopes for the future were so devastatingly crushed in just a matter of moments. I was sure that there was no way for me to forgive Graeme for his actions. And for the first half of the book, I was still peeved at him. There were definitely times when I wanted to smack Graeme on the back of the head.
But along the way, something changed. The hostile dynamic between our couple became a softer and more generous affair. I am not one to believe that intimacy cures everything, but in this case, it definitely gave our pair a start of something new. The truth about past discretions helped to mend the rift between them, as well. It was gradual but satisfying and totally believable for me.
The romance was slow to build but the naughty times began fairly early. Even when there wasn't much affection in the coupling, there was still plenty of passion and lust-filled naughty time happening. I also appreciated the variety of love making here, too. Lots of locations saw some rather adult activities. *wink*
As for everything else, I found the plot to be just involved enough that it didn't overwhelm the story but deeper than many romance stories I've read. If you only want frilly romance, this book had more in the way of schemes and mysteries. If you're looking for a historical romance with heartbreak, danger, scandal, and steamy love scenes, this one is for you!
I will definitely read more from this author! And bonus points for such a gorgeous cover. Love the color combination. Looking forward to Laura's story, too! Four suns!