This was a pretty good story. I liked Augusta and Ian and their story was enjoyable and although I guessed the ultimate outcomes ..Show More »of the story, there were some unexpected twist along the way that kept things interesting. This is the first book I've read by this author and based on this I would be willing to try more of her work in the future.
Augusta is a spinster and very poor. She lives in the country with an ailing aunt with very little to get by on. She was very well off while growing up but when her parents died she somehow ended up penniless. She was to be engaged to a man but when her dowry was gone he suddenly was gone too. Augusta has been invited to Scotland with her family to act as a chaperon for her cousins and she agreed because she needs her Uncle's support to live.
Ian is the second son of the family and wasn't raised to the the Earl, nor does he want the title. Unfortunately, Ian's older brother, Asher, disappeared in to the wilds of Canada and hasn't been heard from in almost 7 years. The legal proceedings have been started to have his brother declared dead and Ian is forced to take the title. His clan is poor and they're getting by but barely. The only way Ian can figure get the money to secure his clan's future is to marry a woman with a big dowry that wants his title.
When the story begins, Augusta is arriving with her family at Ian's estate. It happens to be "next door" to the Queen's property and Ian and his family rent out rooms to English visitors that want the chance to be near and possibly glimpse the Queen. Augusta's family is paying for their visit but also using it as an opportunity to attempt to get an engagement for their daughter, Genie, to Ian as they have money and want a title in the family. Ian and Augusta don't have an instant attraction and at first he sees her as a possible ally in his attempts to get Genie to like him and agree to the engagement. Genie has no interest in Ian. Genie wants to marry for love not for a title and (because of her father's cruelty) fears the intended marriage with Ian because she's convinced he won’t be a kind husband so she avoids him as much as possible. As Ian attempts to find a way to talk to her, he talks to Augusta to try to get some insight. Augusta talks to Ian and realizes he's a good man and that Genie could do much worse. Augusta wants to help Ian but Genie is hard to persuade against her ideas. Things get complicated for both Augusta and Ian as they spend more time together and start to feel an attraction for each other. Ian knows he has to marry money and Augusta has none. Augusta understands Ian’s reasons and doesn't fault him, knowing he has to marry Genie and there’s no way they could end up together.
Baron Altsax, Genie’s father, is in a hurry to get the marriage pushed through and it makes Ian suspicious, especially when he finds out some weird information about Augusta’s inheritances and thinks that maybe Altsax's finances aren't on the up and up. He starts investigating and in the mean time there are a number of things going on to keep everyone busy. The other chaperon is Aunt Julia who is a widow and she and Ian’s brother, Con, have something going on. Also it appears there are feelings between Genie and Ian’s other younger brother, Gil. And Genie’s brother, Matthew, seems to be in to something with Ian’s sister (a widow), Mary Frances. Ian tries to deal with the Baron’s machinations and everything else that’s going on, meanwhile he’s wanting Augusta but can’t get anywhere with Genie who he’s supposed to be wooing. Ian and Augusta do end up alone a few times and they keep respectable distances for a while but eventually (after a rock slide almost kills them) they give in to their attraction. They both feel badly about their slip but since Ian has gotten no closer to getting Genie to talk to him, Augusta figures they can grasp a little happiness until the engagement gets set in motion and then she’ll at least have some happiness to remember. Ian see so much in Augusta and thinks she’d make him the perfect wife but he feels too much responsibility to his clan to marry for love rather than money. There are many ups and downs and some lethal threats that almost bring an end to Augusta. Fortunately, with some effort and some creative thinking things get worked out in the end and Ian and Augusta get their HEA.
This was a very enjoyable story. I liked both Ian and Augusta very much. I also liked the secondary characters (excluding the Baron of course) and was happy with how things turned out for the various couples. The story was pretty good and had some unexpected twists that I liked even though the ultimate ending wasn't hard to figure out. I will admit that some of the descriptions in the conclusion got a little flowery (cheesy?) in its language but that was just at the very end and the rest of the story was actually pretty good at not going overboard with that type of writing. The next book in the series looks interesting and I’ll plan to read it when I get time. I’d recommend this story. :D
I read this book, as I often do, before listening and enjoyed it both ways. I liked the unfolding of Tiberius' motivation and the building of their r..Show More »elationship. I also appreciated having a child character being a real person and not just a symbol. This is my second Grace Burrowes book and I am now a fan.
Roger Hampton delivered a great performance in my opinion. I loved his portrayal of the wordy, stuffy Tiberius as well as the sexy Tiberius. The female voices were fine for me as well. The challenge was Fiona's little girl voice, but I didn't find his performance of her distracting enough to diminish the book.
I eagerly await Book 3 and I will most certainly seek out more of Roger Hampton's narrations.