This was an absolute delight. Dare’s writing is so effortlessly amusing that it’s difficult to break away from her books once I’ve started them. I saved this for the weekend, and happily breezed right though it. The characters, main and supporting, are all well drawn, with hidden depths that are slowly teased into view. It was fun meeting up with old favorites, and Charlotte’s mother is a new gem.
The hero is Piers, Rafe’s (Say Yes to the Marquess) stuffy older brother. When he’s interrupted by Charlotte in the library, the two are forced to hide – and are witness to a forbidden tryst. Only it’s Charlotte’s reputation that is soon in tatters, after they are caught, embracing behind a curtain. To save her from ruin, Piers offers to do the honorable thing and marry her. Charlotte, however, wants to marry for love, and she’s determined to save them both from a fate worse than death – a loveless marriage.
The ensuing search for the real lovers (or tuppers as Piers calls them), brings Charlotte adventure, danger, and that all elusive love that she’s longing for. Piers refuses to play along, though, insisting that their union needn’t be muddied up with such unpredictable distractions as emotions. Soon it’s a battle of the wills between the two, with Charlotte determined to make Piers realize that there’s more to their relationship than a shotgun wedding.
I loved all of the characters and delighted in the ridiculous situations Charlotte enthusiastically found herself in. The banter is both witty and charming, and Piers is probably my favorite Dare hero to date. This romance fired on all four cylinders and was a complete win.