Release Date: Sep 24, 2019
Series: Dear Lady Truelove
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
The story was really problematic for me, on multiple levels, and I have come to realize that I do not like the guardian/ward trope in romance. I have read multiple books in the Lady Truelove series and I have always enjoyed Guhrke’s books in the past. She still writes a good story, but our hero, Jonathan’s position of power over our heroine became a huge turn off for me.
I digress, let me rewind, we have our hero Jonathan Deverill, saddled with the guardianship responsibility by his now deceased business partner’s daughter. Jonathan is shocked to learn that who he thought to be a young girl is actually a grown woman. Cue immediate attraction, on Jonathan’s part. Now the woman in question, Marjorie McGann, is an heiress in need of guidance, protection, and she doesn’t want to be abandoned by anyone ever again. She wants a life in London, an adventure, and much more. So of course when our hero is determined to leave her in America, she sneaks on to the ship he’s on sailing for London. Of course she raises a little hell, and causes a constant state of frustration for Jonathan. And Marjorie is fierce, stubborn and all around a force to be reckoned with. Cue enemies with attraction running through their veins.
This is partially where all my problems stem from. Jonathan’s instant lust, his poor guardianship choices and then proclaiming his weakness is his attraction to Marjorie. Make it worse he deepens the sexual nature of his interactions with our heroine (a woman with no sexual experience or understanding) telling her it will be all right while he awakens bodily emotions that she can hardly resist *shudder*.
In turn the author did a disservice to the character of Marjorie, raised in a conservative finishing school and then becoming a teacher at said school, she has no knowledge of relations between a man and woman? That seems unlikely, and secondly no knowledge of her body. She’s so intelligent, but too sheltered to spot danger from another would be suitor desperate to put her in a compromising situation. I found these situations hard to relate to. I also found it a bit bothersome that Jonathan was so attracted to her in this uneducated state – by, uneducated she thought a little orgasm by fingers would result in pregnancy *forehead slap*
I kept hoping this would get better and from a goal/motivation standpoint and both hero and heroine’s inner struggle, the book has an interesting premise. The characters do experience internal and external growth. But, I still find this blossoming love on both their parts impossible since throughout the course of the book they rarely spend time together and Jonathan spends most free moments trying to avoid Marjorie so he doesn’t lose his control and do her right there. The romance is built on this close proximity, but boiled down it’s really lust on proximity.
Overall, I read till the end to see if this story could redeem itself at all, for me it did not do enough. The beats are there to meet the romance standards, but the character’s actions or lack thereof make this less than a satisfying finish to the Dear Lady Truelove series for me.