Lady Imogen Ridley is in London for her debutante season but she’d rather be back at their country home in Hampshire, pursuing her true passion of everything gardening. She comes up with a scheme where she’ll be caught outside a ballroom with a notorious rake, forcing a shameful retreat, but it backfires when she goes to the wrong location. However, she runs into American Caleb Black, a guest of the ball host who is in London to lay the groundwork for his family’s landscape business setting up an office in England. It’s more than a physical attraction as they have much in common. But Imogen’s titled father would never allow her to pursue a relationship with someone beneath their rank in society. However, Imogen and Caleb court danger when they attempt to find ways to be together.
I love how this series turns convention on its head with these heroines as I don’t believe every woman in this era was homogeneous in their behavior and there were many more like Imogen. She was willing to take risks for someone she believed would give her a more satisfying life, society be damned. I enjoyed how their relationship unfolded, first from a strong attraction and later to an affair of the mind. Imogen and Caleb were well developed characters but not without flaws, which just made them more interesting.
The story steps back to the moment of the first book so Imogen’s escapades run parallel with her cousin Stella’s and brother Eliot’s scandalous assignations. Knowing their truths added to the intrigue provided by Imogen and Caleb, especially since I never really understood her points of view in the previous two stories. Hers was the most dangerous of them all as her father yielded the most power and control over Imogen and wouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior. He was an awful man who wasn’t taking extreme measures and Imogen didn’t take him for granted. That added an extremely high level of tension, leading to an explosive climax. I’ve loved this series and am grateful for a most satisfying epilogue. I didn’t think Imogen would have the more interesting story of them all and am glad it surpassed my expectations.
- Release Date: January 26, 2022
- Series: A Scandal in Mayfair #3
- Page Numbers: 308
- Publisher: Indie
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(Thanks to the author for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)