A Convenient Engagement
The Countess Scandals Series, #1
by Kimberly Bell
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Una
A young lady makes an outrageous deal with a very handsome devil in this sexy debut romance set in Georgian Era London and Scotland.
An independent young woman of means, Miss Hannah Howard is as stubborn as she is beautiful. After she moves to London for her first season among the ton, she immediately finds herself in a heated dispute with her neighbor, the ill-mannered Gavan Dalreoch, Earl of Rhone. Giving the Earl a black eye is a lapse in judgment—even though the Scottish scoundrel deserved it. Now with her reputation in jeopardy, her only hope for saving face is the man whose face she bruised.
Gavan is content to live up to his rakish reputation, but with family pressuring him to marry, he and Hannah agree to get engaged just long enough to appear respectable. Yet as the charade continues with stolen kisses and a trip to Gavan’s Scottish castle, Gavan and Hannah discover that their false engagement may be more real than they imagined.
I found this book to be a nice light read for a winter’s afternoon. It made me feel good as I read the up- tempo dialogue. The characters came alive through their words and I could easily put them up on my minds screen and throw myself into the setting. The story is funny and has just a trace of suspense and the main characters of Gavan and Hannah are well developed. The secondary characters of Hannah’s maid and Gavan’s cousin as well as other secondary characters add to the depth to the story.
The story begins with Hannah making a guffaw to the Ton society when she pushes a very angry and hung over Gavin down her front steps. This leads to an engagement of convenience as Gavin’s cousin insists that he does right by her and repair the damage done. Hannah is not interested in marriage as she is financially set for life and wants to venture out on her own. Gavin has always been a rake and a known womanizer and has no intention of settling down. This allows for an interesting development of romance between the two and when Hannah’s attempt on her life puts her in danger and Gavin knows he must take her away to his home in Scotland.
On their arrival in Scotland Gavin realizes the mistake of not coming home sooner when he meets his feral younger sister who is dirty and unsociable. When she allows Hannah to come close to her Gavin sees another side of Hannah. Hannah’s maid also is interesting as she comes across as a true friend and not just a servant and it is really funny when she tries to educate Hannah on the ways of men. Gavin’s cousin on the other hand has his hands full keeping Gavin in line and reminding him of his responsibilities and duties of his rank.
The love story between Hannah and Gavin develops as Hannah learns to trust her feelings however, she first must discover what she wants out of life before she can surrender to what she truly wants. Can she give up her dream of independence to live out her life in the Scottish Highlands or will she go back to England and give up true love. Gavin on the other hand soon finds out that not everything he wants will be available.
Kimberly Bell has written a good story and I for one will certainly be looking out for the sequel.