Published by Berkley on November 5, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Even Felix himself almost believes this golden image. But underneath is a damaged soul soothed only by public adulation.
Louisa Cantwell needs to marry well to support her sisters. She does not, however, want Lord Wrenworth—though he seems inexplicably interested in her. She mistrusts his outward perfection, and the praise he garners everywhere he goes. Still, when he is the only man to propose at the end of the London season, she reluctantly accepts.
Louisa does not understand her husband’s mysterious purposes, but she cannot deny the pleasure her body takes in his touch. Nor can she deny the pull this magnetic man exerts upon her. But does she dare to fall in love with a man so full of dark secrets, any one of which could devastate her, if she were to get any closer?
I absolutely adore this book! It has everything I crave in a 5-star book: snappy dialogue, great characters, a fun plot, and of course a delightful HEA. As soon as I finished reading Luckiest Lady in London, I wanted to start it all over again!
Louisa Cantwell is as pragmatic and ordinary as they come. Not a great beauty or terribly well-endowed in the bosom department, she is the epitome of average. Except when it comes to her near-ruthless pragmatism. Louisa comes from a mildly poor family. Her father was a failed fortune hunter and although her mother still enjoys a dower income that can support the household for now, once her mother dies, Louisa and her three sisters will be left with nothing. Each of her three sisters have issues that could prevent them from marrying, so it falls to Louisa to marry the richest man she can realistically convince, cajol, or connive into matrimony. Intelligent and determined, Louisa spends years perfecting her social graces so that when a generous Aunt agrees to put Louisa through a Season in London she is as prepared as possible to make a brilliant match.
Like Louisa, Felix Marquess of Rivendale hides behind the persona he has built for London society – “The Ideal Gentleman.” He is shrewd, wickedly intelligent, and is convinced love is a weakness that will destroy any relationship as it did to his parents. Growing up, Felix’s mother despised Felix’s father and as a result Felix’s father grew cold to everyone around him. As a child, Felix was caught in the middle, forced to act as a pawn in his parents’ game of mutual manipulation and deceit. As he grew up, Felix began learning how to play his parents’ game and became a master manipulator in his own right. He learns to deduce exactly what people are thinking, guessing with startling accuracy what secrets the people of London society hide behind fluttering fans and cups of whiskey.
One of the things I loved most about this book is that Louisa and Felix are a perfectly imperfect pair. Both hide their true emotions behind a wall – the mask they built for polite society – while underneath they both simmer with barely retrained passion. Louisa wants Felix and isn’t afraid to let him know it. But she doesn’t trust him and she isn’t afraid to tell him that either. Felix is seven kinds of emotionally scarred thanks to his unloving, manipulative parents. Much of this book was about these characters and how they needed to grow together to make their marriage work, despite these issues lying between them. The dialogue is playful and teasing, but can be heart-wrenching and poignant too.
A beautiful tale of learning to love others when you don’t even love yourself. Of learning what it means to let go and trust someone with your heart and soul, knowing they can break you with only a single word.