Author: Amanda Quick
Published: October 1990 (Bantam)
Category: Historical Romance
I know, it's been a long time since I posted. I have a huge backlog of books to review and am not even sure if I can get back to them after all this time. I went through this weird period where no book I read was good enough to finish, and I was also dealing with being newly engaged and wedding planning. However, all the major planning stuff is done, so I have no excuse now!
Victoria Huntington is twenty-four, an heiress, and very independent. She's rather looking forward to being a spinster so people will stop thinking she's a complete hoyden. She meets her match in Lucas Colebrook, the Earl of Stonevale. He happens to be hunting for an heiress to restore his family's estate, and the only heiress that catches his interest is the one who has no desire to marry, especially to a fortune hunter.
Lucas uses Victoria's wild tendencies to his advantage, promising her midnight adventures that would normally be unavailable to a young lady. He figures she just wants to dine out dressed in men's clothes or go to Vauxhall Gardens, but she has bigger plans, going to brothels and gaming hells. At each of their adventures, she makes Lucas get into more trouble, insisting that he save some poor victim at these locations.
I got tired of Victoria trying so hard not to admit her love for Lucas after their hasty marriage. She argued with him all the time, and she was a supposedly smart character, so most of her arguments sounded like they were coming from a stupid person. Lucas, having long realized that he loved Victoria, couldn't tell her he loved her because upon discovering he was poor, she'd think he was going to say anything to make up for hiding that fact. So for a good part of the book, you deal with a married couple that is constantly fighting despite the fact that they love each other and Victoria's pride is all that stands in the way.
I was too annoyed to fully enjoy this book, but it had a nice ending.