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In 1814 London, England, a lady is defined as a demure, delicate flower. Miss Francine Annesley is not that lady. If men were like plants, she would have a garden of admirers to choose from instead of the thorn in her side since childhood, Julian Beckwith. But she would make an even worse nun than she does a lady, which will be her fate if she can’t dig up a husband before the Season ends. However, Julian is not an option.
With only ten short days left in the Season, Francine doesn’t have time to waste on petty squabbles or knee-weakening kisses, even if Julian’s offer to fulfill her every wish rouses her curiosity. It seems men are more complicated than plants. Too bad love bloomed at the most inconvenient of times…
*I received a copy from the author via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review
This one has a title that pulls you in and for good reason. I was shocked at her father’s threat of sending her to the convent, but even more that she had ten days to find a husband. I loved that they had been childhood friends because that always adds to a story, but I did not see the twist of why he was not an option coming and knew there was more to it which was another shocker I didn’t see coming. I loved her mother and her friends because you never knew what heir plans were. The ending was perfect because it was an unexpected one.
Francine is different because she studies plants and doesn’t play the naive girl. I cheered when she stood up to her father because she wasn’t going to be told what to do anymore. I loved how she changed and was determined to follow her heart.
Julian will make your heart ache in many ways. I loved him from the start because he saw her for her and helped her. When he fully told her why he couldn’t marry her my heart broke and then broke again when he was in the garden.
“Tell me about this plant you saw.”
“You know I can’t do it justice.” Mirth infused his voice. “I once described a rose to you as ‘red.’”
I chuckled. “Well, you weren’t wrong.”
“I also wasn’t very observant, as you pointed out for the next hour.” He shuddered. “It was very like schoolwork. I think you made me memorize the parts.”
I lifted my head. “I did not.”
“You made me repeat them so often, it felt as though you did.”
I smiled. “You didn’t get it wrong after that, did you?”
“Of course I did.” He barked out a laugh. “You know I have no head for that kind of thing.”
“No?” I shifted to study his face while we spoke. “I’d wager you could describe your crops to the tiniest detail.”
He shook his head. “Not even if you threatened my life. But I can look at them and tell you if they look…wrong.”
I laughed. “Is that the technical term?”
“You know what I mean.” He threw his free hand into the air. “Weak. Sickly.”
I grinned. I was only teasing him. Judging by the half smile turning up one corner of his mouth, he knew it.
“You did an admirable job describing the problem with your crops. The one I helped with.”
His arm tightened around my shoulders. “Thank you again, by the way.”
My cheeks heated as my gaze dropped to his mouth. The heat of his body surrounded me. I’d never felt so relaxed, comfortable and yet aware of him at the same time. Would he kiss me again? When he made no move to, I leaned closer. He didn’t pull away.
Meet the Author
Harmony Williams has been living vicariously in Regency-era England since she discovered Jane Austen. Since time machines don’t yet exist, she’s had to make do with books—fictional and non-fictional. On the rare occasion she doesn’t have her nose stuck in a book, she likes to drink tea and spend time with her 90-lb lapdog. A feminist, she writes stories about strong women and the men who support them as equals.
Check out the other book in the Ladies of Passion series
- Print copy of How to Play the Game of Love – US shipping ONLY. A digital copy will be sent if winner is International