The cover for this book is preposterous, but also… foreshadowing?
So, I really liked this book. Both of the leads were wonderful, and I enjoyed how well the romance was integrated with the non-romantic plot. It goes something like this: Edward de Lacey, the second son of a Duke, has always been the responsible one. After his father dies, leaving behind whisperings of a possible first marriage that could invalidate the legitimacy of his and his brothers’ birth and claim to the title, Edward sets about London trying to retain the best possible lawyers to dig up any and all information about the first wife.
Meanwhile, Lady Francesca Gordon is worried about the well-being of her niece, whose biological parents have both died, leaving her in custody of her stepmother. Aware that the household is poor and concerned that her niece’s monthly inherited allowance is not being spent to her benefit, Francesca is also looking for a lawyer so that she can gain custody of the child. When only one lawyer agrees to take the case, only to be shortly whisked away to take Edward’s case, Francesca confronts Edward personally.
I loved the dynamic between these two. Taciturn Edward, who is so sure that a spirited woman like Francesca is not for him, can’t help but find himself completely drawn to her. Likewise, Francesca, initially believing that Edward is dull and lacking feeling, is surprised by glimpses of humor and passion she sees in Edward and feels her attraction to him growing.
As I mentioned earlier, just as good as the romance were the “cases” Edward and Francesca are involved in. Most of the time — choice authors notwithstanding — I could take or leave the secondary plot, particularly if the secondary plot is an angst-ridden extension of the first where some character is overcoming some troubled past nonsense (seriously, it is so difficult to tread new ground on this.) I was genuinely not anticipating what would end up happening with Francesca and her niece, and the stuff going on with Edward’s family was not resolved just in One Night in London. I’m looking forward to unraveling that thread over the course of the series.