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This review can also be found here at Goodreads
Vanessa is left in a bad situation. After her father’s death, it left her with a rundown manor and employees depending on her. Northbridge enters her life and offers her a proposal that will blackmail her into marriage.
I liked this story and think the concept of blackmail always makes a good read. The story had simplicity to it with your typical storyline, but you still couldn’t help but to keep reading as I found the story to be cute and sweet. Vanessa has a scandalous reputation; she also has to deal with her father’s death and the problems his death as left behind. Northbridge was your demanding hero with a sweet heart, as all becomes clear in the end of his intentions. Their first meeting perked me up a bit, as I found it interesting. It made me curious to see what will happen next.
Just to let the reader know, this is a very short novella, but likable.
Excerpt – courtesy of All Romance Ebooks (this link)
“Ours is a small world, Miss Fitzwilliam, and you have not moved through it without notice.”
Vanessa’s cup halted halfway to her lips. Over its rim she sent him a cool stare.
“Those cat’s eyes of yours could never look the innocent, so do not play the ingénue with me, Miss Fitzwilliam.”
Her name on his tongue sounded strangely exciting.
He leaned forward, elbows on knees, his glass cupped loosely in both hands. Not a gentleman’s hands, noted Vanessa. Northbridge’s hands were scarred and calloused, she supposed from hard riding and the perils of warfare.
“There was the incident of the high perch phaeton driven at speed through Hyde Park.” His measured voice brought her attention back to his account of her misdemeanors. “Two wheels off the ground at one point, so I have been told. Dowagers having to adjust their hat pins as you flew by.”
Vanessa sipped her tea.
“The night you played understudy to one of Prinny’s coterie in Drury Lane,” Northbridge continued, “wearing trousers. The footlights showed your legs to advantage, I believe.” His gaze moved downward.
Even though they were well concealed, Vanessa found herself pressing her limbs together. “I was obliged to play the part of a young man. What was I supposed to wear? Petticoats and hoops?”
“Your appearance on stage was shocking enough,” Northbridge said, leaning toward her and pinning her with his gaze, “but surely even you must have been aware that staying overnight at Crockford House, without even a maid in attendance, scandalized all society and put you quite beyond the pale.”
Vanessa’s skin crawled at the very mention.