The story begins when Leighton Anstey, Lord Shelburn has challenged Eliot Ridley, Lord Colville, to a carriage race. The crowd is enormous, believing the prize to the winner is Verena Girard and everyone has a stake in the outcome. The reality is that Shelburn is doing this to force Verena, his best friend since childhood, and Colville to admit their feelings for each other. And, he wants Colville’s prized horses. At the last minute, Verena leaves Shelburn’s carriage and joins Eliot. Shelburn looks into the crowd, sets his sights on a lovely young woman, Kate Starr, and challenges her to join him in Verena’s stead. In a surprise to everyone, Kate accepts that challenge and life for both of them is forever changed.
the heart of the story…
This is a spinoff of the A Scandal in Mayfair series and its beginning is the conclusion of the second book. I always wondered about the mysterious woman who joined Lord Shelburn for that race so I was excited to see this story develop. There’s so much to admire about Kate who runs her family’s company, a cotton mill enterprise she inherited following her father’s death. She’s wealthy but lacks a title and is pretty remarkable. Her agreement to join Shelburn for that infamous race was serendipitous because, unknown to him, she’d met him ten years before and he was her hero. Now, Lord Shelburn has a well earned reputation as a notorious rake and is far from the white knight Kate’s envisioned. But once she joined him for that race, her fate was sealed, her reputation now connected to his. At the end of that race, Lord Shelburn invites Kate to spend the next three days with him.
the bottom line…
This was supposed to be Kate relinquishing her innocence to the most notorious and worst lord of London but it also ended up being life changing for Shelburn. Kate was unlike the women with whom he’d had assignations and she fascinated him like no other. She was strong, intelligent and commanding in a way that stimulated him. Their three day affair was highly sensual and steamy but was also so much more. I liked both of them and loved how their relationship unfolded. It was a surprise to both of them and felt fresh and highly romantic. I really enjoyed their story and this new series is off to a great start.
- Release Date: May 31, 2022
- Series: Scoundrels of Mayfair #1
- Page Numbers: 308
- Publisher: Self
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(Thanks to the author for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)