The third novel in Sabrina Jeffries's “Hellions of Hallstead Hall” series, featuring the independent and talented Lady Minerva Sharpe.
When a charming rogue proposes she marry him to meet her grandmother's ultimatum, the Sharpe clan's strong-willed sister makes a tempting counter-offer that preserves her inheritance and ignites his imagination.
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother's demands: become engaged to a rogue! Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel. And who better to play the part of Minerva's would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular Gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered in Minerva's imagination, though she has no intention of really falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him. Little does she know, he really is a covert government operative. When they team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents' deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles's secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back into her heart.This is the third book in the Hellions series. I did not read the other two and it was not necessary to enjoy this book. This historical romance takes place in England where the matriarch of the estate has offered an ultimatum. The Sharpe siblings all must marry in order to inherit their family's fortune. Minerva is loathe to accept such an ultimatum, but does not want to see her brothers and their families have a hard time without adequate funds. So, Minerva decides to pretend to be engaged to the family friend, Giles, who is known to be a total scoundrel and rogue to force Gran into forgetting the rules to the inheritance. Gran is wise to her maneuvers and finds that Giles really does want to marry Minerva. However, will Giles be a possessive husband? After all women had to be totally under their thumb at that time and she would have to give up her one passion if he required it. And no one is going to demand that Minerva give up her writing.
I have to admit I did not like Giles until the end of the book. He demanded truth, trust, and an open heart when he was not prepared to give that himself. This really irritated me and I was afraid that the author would just ignore this oversite and conclude the book with Minerva being swept into his arms without Giles actually opening himself up as well. Fortunately, this is not the book Ms. Jeffries wrote. In fact Giles finds himself painfully open and even though he was afraid, he decided to trust those around him. Luckily he was also rewarded by finding he put his trust in the correct people and I found myself liking this rogue.
I give this book 3 1/2 stars and recommend this book to those that enjoy a sweet, historical romance with a woman who knows her own worth.
I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.