I enjoyed the first book in the series and was thrilled when the second one came available to request. I tend to get more contemporary novels through NetGalley, so it’s kind of a treat when a good historical romance comes along to change things up.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A woman determined to never marry becomes the subject of a courtship meant to save her from a dangerous arrangement. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
The Other Sister
Beatrice is the sister of Caro from the first one (the one who was originally supposed to be pawned off as a bride). Now she lives with her sister and brother-in-law, and though she’s had many offers of marriage, she hasn’t accepted any of them. A few years before, she let someone she thought was going to marry her take her virtue, and she doesn’t want to bring shame to her family when her husband finds out she’s not pure. So she’s decided to just nix the idea of marriage altogether and serve as a governess to a family going to America.
Hunters Without Women
The one man she might have considered, Michael, has also made it clear he has no plans to marry. Like his other hunting buddies, he wants to stay single and live a life free of a woman curtailing his good time. Sure he’s attracted to Bea, but she’s made it clear she doesn’t want to marry, which works out for him too.
Until he realizes he actually does want to marry her, a decision he reaches after agreeing to try to save her from a gross old man who her cousin sold her to and is rumored to have killed his previous wives. Considering the legalities, it seems the only way to get her out of the situation is for her to marry someone else, and Michael seems to be the perfect candidate.
Stronger Than She Seemed
I liked both characters. Beatrice doesn’t necessarily like hunting, nor is she adept at outdoor survival, but when push comes to shove and she has to tend to Michael after he’s injured, she steps up like a boss. At the beginning of the first book, she seemed to be one of those delicate flower heroines, but she’s not. Later, when things with the old gross guy get dangerous, she proves she’s a fighter.
Reputations to Maintain
As for Michael, he’s a rebel who doesn’t care what society thinks (typical for a romance hero). He has a reputation with the ladies and he’s also known for dueling and being a sharpshooter, something that led to him to losing the use of one eye. When Bea tells me him that she’s not a virgin, his reaction is pretty much “So what?” Not really the standard reaction for the time, but definitely what you’d expect of this character who seems to have no effs to give.
The evil guy trying to take Beatrice gave the story some suspense and action. After Michael saves Beatrice, he has to go to court because of the method he used and the fact that people are crying “murderer.” My first reaction was that the justice system was broken (as it sometimes is). Though at one point I felt like that part dragged the story out, I also thought it gave some great emotion between the characters who were facing the chance that Michael was going to be put to death.
The Romance Factor
There was some great romantic foreplay between these two, and I loved that part of the reason they weren’t pursuing each other was because they were convinced the other one wasn’t into it. There was a lot of good tension and passion between them. 4/5
The Steam Factor
Not as spicy as some, but the sexy times were enough to get some heat on. There’s also forest/outdoor sex, and though it’s fun and all, I hoped there weren’t bugs getting into uncomfortable places. 4/5
There’s a bit of a friends-to-lovers thing going on here, which made it that much better. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, even with the bugs and the stupid court system. I’ll be watching for the 3rd book in the series to drop.