When you're the oldest daughter, you don't get to have any fun!
Witty, orphaned Tess Essex faces her duty: marry well and marry quickly, so she can arrange matches for her three sisters - beautiful Annabel, romantic Imogen, and practical Josie. After all, right now they're under the rather awkward guardianship of the perpetually tipsy Duke of Holbrook. But just when she begins to think that all might end well, one of her sisters bolts with a horse-mad young lord, and her own fiancé just plain runs away.
Which leaves Tess contemplating marriage to the sort of man she wishes to avoid - one of London's most infamous rakes. Lucius Felton is a rogue whose own mother considers him irredeemable! He's delicious, Annabel points out. And he's rich, Josie notes. But although Tess finally consents to marry him, it may be for the worst reason of all. Absurd as she knows it to be, she may have fallen utterly in love....
©2005 Eloisa James (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
Superb narration. Flawless. Decent story -- the first of a series, each featuring one of four orphaned Scottish sisters and riffing a Shakespearean play. This one, alluding to Much Ado About Nothing, is witty, sweet, funny, and explicitly smexy, but the pace is slow at times. Starts getting good after the half-way point. Totally loved the hero, Lucius, and his horse-whispering wife, Tess. Not crazy about the moonstruck sister, Imogen. Wish the author had reduced her role in the story.
I found this book to drag somewhat. There were so many characters and sisters and suitors and their mothers that I could not tell who was with who. With all of these people involved in this story, you would think there would be some romance a little steamier than a stolen kiss... maybe it's just me but I like my romance novels a little steamier than this one...sorry!
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