England, 1810: When Lady Gabriella Banning receives word that her half-brother, the Earl of Wickham, has died on his tea plantation in Ceylon, she faces the reality that she and her younger sisters, Claire and Elizabeth, are suddenly penniless. The family’s riches will pass to the next male heir — a distant cousin — and the Banning sisters are doomed unless Gabby thinks fast.
Which she does. Pretending that Marcus is still alive, Gabby arranges beautiful Claire’s London season. She’ll keep up the pretense just long enough for Claire to marry a fabulously wealthy nobleman. But when a handsome gentleman arrives at the door and claims to be Marcus, Gabby’s plan backfires. For if she exposes this mysterious stranger’s deceit, she exposes her own. Bound by secrets and lies, Gabby and the roguish adventurer strike sparks off each other — and soon London society is abuzz over the scandalous pair of “siblings” who appear to be falling in love….
With this beautifully rendered romance, bestselling author Karen Robards begins a sweeping series about three unforgettable sisters poised to take the ton by storm.
This is book 1/3 and I must say I found it extremely delightful, knowing fully I would get some hot scenes, my only worry was that I did not know exactly whether it would be Claire or Gabby who would find their match in this book. I have read Shameless a while back and I knew it was Beth’s story. After a few chapters in, it was clear that Gabby, the older of the three sisters, the mature old maid who could not find a suitable match due to her small handicap (a small limp caused by a jump through a window) would fall in love with captain Nick, her fake brother.
The cat and mouse game between them is well played, starting off with her refusing to say who he was and why he was impersonating her dead brother and her shooting him point blank. From a medical perspective, a shot through the body at such a short range, would have caused shock, powerful bleeding and death. He survives and Gabby is the one who nurses him back to health, taking time to admire his well built body, his hair, and his appendage 🙂
Further along the book he teaches her how to French Kiss, has time to initiate a virgin and they go through the struggles that every new couple goes through: her being jealous of her exes, him being jealous of current suitors (like a widower with children). I would have loved it if she made the poor widower more attractive (not a balding fat man) so at least she would have found it difficult to choose between them (much like Vampire Diaries and not Hot or Not).
Favorite part: The virgin initiation
Least favorite part: Child rape, be it implied or stopped mid-way. That is a no-no.