Oh my goodness. So it seems Ms. Balogh has at least one a series that leaves me wanted to stab someone in the eye from either boredom or annoyance or the case of this one, both!
Katherine is the youngest sister of the Huxtable clan. She is beautiful and proper and new to society. Jasper, Baron Montford, is a man’s man, ladies man, man about town. They meet because Jasper agrees to a wager for fun to seduce Katherine within two weeks. They meet at a party at Vauxhall, and while he could have won his wager, he decides to have a conscience at the last moment. They do not meet again for three years. That’s where the story really gets going.
And by going I mean continues to move at a glacial pace. This one was slow. There was lots of jumping back and forth between the hero and heroine’s head space, and very little to none of them saying what they mean. Also, I hated the setup. Anytime the story starts with the hero purposefully trying to ruin the heroine’s life it’s pretty hard to redeem them and bring them back from that. Here, I’d say she comes close to redeeming him, but it was by turning her character about one hundred and eighty degrees. At one point, three quarters of the way through the book the heroine slaps him across the face, because he’s being awful to her. I momentarily cheered! But don’t worry, two pages later she has forgiven him, and they’re doing it outside in the forest. Sigh….
Anywho, this trope can work (Kleypas springs to mind as one of the few who has done it successfully), but really awful heroes at the start are hard to bring through. And I think Ms. Balogh didn’t quite succeed here. I’m going to continue the series, because I have the next one in at the library, but really this one was middling at it’s high point.