The Temptation of Grace by Kristin Vayden
This is the third in the series about three Regency lords who manage a club called Temptations and how they find their loves, this one featuring Ramsay, Marquess of Sterling, the most strait-laced of the three, and Grace, the ward of one of the other two. Although both characters were introduced in previous books, this can be read as a standalone.
Grace is unconventional in that she’s been educated and she is well traveled, having been to India and Egypt,among other places, with her parents before they passed. One thing she is not, is graceful, but Ramsay sees that as a charming personality quirk rather than a flaw. He’s not the only one with his sights on Grace, though, and I found it rather refreshing to have a genuine rival in the picture for the heroine’s affections, though the outcome was something of a foregone conclusion.
One thing that always frustrates me when there’s a ‘bad guy’ in the picture in historical romances is that the heroes always fail to just TELL the heroine why the bad guy is a problem. “He preys on his female servants” might be a touch shocking to the sensibilities, but it’s a lot less of a shock than the lady in question might get if she ended up alone with the cad. Better forewarned than blindly ignorant, appears to be a mindset which occurs to none of these men. Grace was the furthest thing from stupid and uneducated, and obviously not all that shockable, so Ramsay and Heathcliff’s decision to keep her in the dark was infantilizing in the extreme. I’d have called them on it, and it was disappointing that Grace didn’t get the chance to do that.
Ramsay and Grace were very well-suited and apart from the above-mentioned issue, there was always great communication between the two. I’ll give this one four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley.