Phillip has a duty to marry Francesca. He has always protected his former neighbor and childhood companion, and now that she is of marriageable age, he will give her what she needs most—a real home where she is welcome and wanted.
Unfortunately for him… she is finished with being dutiful. After years of being an obedient daughter to a hateful father, Francesca jumps into her first Season. Francesca is ready to dance every dance, flirt with every bachelor, and snatch what she wants most—a man she loves who will make her swoon.
Unfortunately for her… he now sees making her swoon as his duty, too. And Phillip takes his duties very seriously.
This Regency romance novella is absolutely adorable. It’s short (only 69 pages according to Amazon) but beautifully written. There’s enough description of Francesca’s home life to understand why she’s so keen not to duplicate her parents’ marriage, without it taking over the book. And as a woman who loves the male’s POV, this book certainly delivered.
It was lovely to see how Phillip went from duty to love (“Straight out of the drivel Franny liked to read in love”) and how Franny went from just wanting an escape to something more. There’s some sizzle, but again, it doesn’t take over the book and in my opinion it fitted properly into the story.
I did wonder why Francesca had to spend 3 years in mourning – one year, absolutely – that was a given in the Regency era. And I could understand her taking a longer mourning period if she wished given how much she loved her mother, but the author seemed to indicate it was mandatory for her to spend that long which seemed very odd to me. In fact it seemed a bit too convenient as a storytelling device and is primarily the reason I’ve recommended rather than highly recommended it.
And the HEA?
Ultimately though I guess you want to know – did I feel the HEA was right? Was I left with a warm and fuzzy feeling or wishing I could get my money back?
Yes, given the constraints of the length, I did feel the HEA was right. I liked that there was only one minor misunderstanding and that it was resolved by… talking to each other! (And good on Francesca on taking the initiative there too).
I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next in the series.