Stella Faulkner has depended on the mercy of her uncle for the past ten years following the death of her mother who married for love and was then disgraced by her family because she married beneath her station. Stella is essentially the unpaid governess for her cousin, Imogen, as her uncle considers her a servant. She doesn’t want to risk a scandal or be accused of conduct similar to her mother so she plays down her beauty and personality. However, unbeknownst to her, she still attracts attention and when a mixup has her in a private garden assignation with Grayson (Gray) Maddox, Lord Halston, Stella cannot resist the charms of this libertine with a notorious reputation. But Lord Halston has a surprise in store for himself, too.
Stella and Gray are wonderful characters who risk their reputations for private encounters during a week at his home in the country with other invited guests. She risks being involved in a scandal and he risks not being in one. Because he’s never experienced deep feelings for any woman before, Gray is unprepared for the depth of those he feels for Stella. Their week was a steamy exploration for both of them at night and one of propriety during the day. I loved Stella’s openness and lack of inhibition with Gray. She was an enigma to him and saw the real man. He was utterly transformed and it was fun watching him be put off balance by this remarkable woman.
This was a great story with an unconventional romance in an era where it would be taboo. I enjoyed the change from the traditional historical romances we typically see among the ton. It still respected the restrictions of society as Stella and Gray took extreme precautions to keep their relationship secret. The romantic journey began in the reverse with it being a sexually charged one that grew into something highly meaningful. And, the ending was perfect. This series is off to a glorious start!
- Release Date: June 30, 2021
- Series: A Scandal in Mayfair #1
- Page Numbers: 202
- Publisher: Self
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(Thanks to the author for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)