When a holiday blizzard brings together a pair of reluctant lovers, the result threatens their reputations … and may cost them their hearts.
Feisty and independent American heiress Violet Howard swears she’ll never wed a crusty British aristocrat. Will, the Earl of Merlton, is determined to salvage his family’s fortune without succumbing to a marriage of convenience.
But when a snowstorm leaves Violet and Will stranded and alone, their sudden chemistry will challenge good intentions. Seized by a desire that burns through the night, they’ll toss reservations aside in favor of the heat found in each other’s arms.
Will their passion survive the storm? Will they realize they’ve found a love to last them through all seasons?
This story didn’t engage me as much as the first one in the Debutante Files series, but Will Peregrine’s story was definitely kept my attention. As a minor character in A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin, he really only existed as a way to flesh out Declan and Aurelia’s characters as a cousin and brother, respectively. Seeing him step forward was fun for me as a reader.
Violet Howard is awesome as a heroine. Her wit and unflappable character, especially during her first meeting with Aurelia, immediately made me like her. Her having her own love interest besides the main character (and not as the usual both men know each other love triangle) also distinguished her among many other historical romance heroines.
Will Peregrine, Earl of Merlton, is a great guy. A good brother, cousin, and friend, and sexy as hell, it’s hard not to fall for him. Definitely an alpha male, his determination to woo Violet despite her refusal of his proposal and promise to not touch her unless she asks is just enough to prove he has a heart of gold even if he can be an arrogant jerk at times.
Where this story loses points for me is the lack of external conflict. Will, despite his initial plan to ignore the American heiress, then decision to only marry her to save his family and tenants (admirable, despite being mercenary), and final wish to marry her for love is rather straightforward and unhindered by any real misgivings on his part (unlike Declan’s inner battle in A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin).
It’s Violet’s own stubbornness and refusal to express her feelings for him that lengthens the novel. I’m not saying she wasn’t justified, but it’s a contrived plot device that I believe only works if the lack of communication is caused by or enforced by an external circumstance or force. This failing bumps what would have been a ✯✯✯✯ book down to ✯✯✯.