Release Date: Dec 8, 2020
Series: Goode Girls
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Oliver Heber Books
When the writing is this good, almost anything is possible.
It’s rare, especially in a historical romance, that you come across a heroine with the kind of past like Honoria “Nora” Goode. She’s married—oh so very briefly in the prologue—to a horrible man, which is not entirely her fault. She’s an adulterer by not only taking lovers but paying men of the night for sex. Her existence isn’t a happy one and usually this isn’t a storyline that would appeal to me. But after a rather explosive prologue, Byrne takes the reader back in time and allows us to see for ourselves how Honoria Goode and the good—very excellent—doctor Titus Conleith came to be.
Fifteen years before Honoria’s terrible, murderous husband shot her, she was seventeen and the eldest daughter of the Baron of Cresthaven—another truly horrible man, her father—and Titus was fourteen and a boy-of-all-work in their household. Titus has loved Honoria since the age of ten and his reverence and pining really did tug at my heart. I’m a sucker for unrequited love and that’s what ails poor young Titus. Then Honoria gets sick and probably would have died had Titus not discovered her burning with fever. He truly is her guardian angel, working with the doctor to reduce the fever and heal her. At this point, I’m completely enamoured with Titus, my heart aching for him.
Fast forward three years and that’s when Nora takes notice of a seventeen-year-old Titus, more man than boy now, tall and handsome. He has most of the girls gawking at him, especially Nora. You can guess what happens next, right? And that’s when I began to empathize with Nora’s plight. She simply isn’t free to love and be with whom she wants. Did I forget to mention that her father is absolutely dreadful? Ugh. I kept praying that her husband wouldn’t be the only terrible man to die or be killed because I can be a bit bloodthirsty like that. Needless to say, I ached for Nora and Titus and the situation they were in. And their backstory is essential for the telling of the story.
In the present, Nora is now a widow and is taken to Doctor Titus Conleith with a bullet in her shoulder. You can imagine how Titus feels seeing her in that condition. Torn because of the way things were left between them. As a reader, I think I was more torn because I knew the whole story and he only knew half. But it’s been over a decade since they’ve spoken and feelings are still raw. Of course I know things will end happily for them but I know it’s all about the journey and I was eager to take it with them, as heart wrenching as it was at times.
I thoroughly enjoyed Nora and Titus’s romance as well as the intriguing, well-rounded cast of characters. I’ll only go so far as to say her sisters are wonderful. Their parents, not so much.
This is the second book in the Goode Girls series and it’s clear I need to go back and read the first, Seducing a Stranger (which is currently a steal at $.99 and features her sister Prudence’s romance with Carlton Morley), but it isn’t a must to enjoying Courting Trouble, as each book can be read as standalones. Next up is Mercy and Raphael Sauvageau’s book, Dancing With Danger. I assume we’re first introduced to Mercy in the first book, but Raphael definitely makes an appearance in this one. I’m looking forward to getting my grabby hands on theirs.