Witty and engaging, this book is the perfect joining of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice and Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance.”
Lord Xavier would stake his reputation on a wager. In fact, his entire reputation is build on wagers. So when his cousin proposes a wager on whether or not Xavier can keep a certain house guest at his party for the entirety of the season, he feels like he has no choice but to agree.
The guest in question is Louisa, a intelligent young woman who is no stranger to scandal. The year before she was engaged, but her fiance fell in love with her step sister and ended up marrying her instead. So Lord Xavier’s party is the perfect excuse for her to get out again. And at least she’ll be supervised, so she shouldn’t be able to get into too much trouble.
While Xavier is doing everything in his power to keep Louisa there, his cousin is doing everything possible to scandalize her and send her packing. Meanwhile, Louisa knows about the bet the entire time, so everything either of them does either angers her or amuses her, depending on which one it’s coming from and her mood at the time.
Xavier gives her access to his library, where she comes across some family secrets, and the two bond through something I’ve haven’t seen much in romance novels, their intelligence. They have conversations where they quote classical literature in the original language. It’s amazing, and I love to see such intelligent characters grace the page. Theresa Romain really shines in her dialogue, especially between Xavier and Louisa.
There was only one issue I had with this particular book, and it was with the second sex scene. The first and third one were absolutely fine, but the second just felt off to me. It was like these two witty characters I had enjoyed reading about were suddenly replaced with cheap porn stars, and it was rather jarring for me. Note, I must again point out that this was only a problem with the second sex scene.
Overall, I found this book to be witty and engaging, perfect for reading in a bubble bath at the end of a long day. I fully intend to track down the first book now.