Peregrine and Olivia have known each other since they were children when his uncle and her mother fell in love in Lord Perfect. Peregrine has spent most of that time in Egypt with Rupert (my favorite, be still my heart :p ) with only a few short trips home over the years. As a result, Peregrine is rather surprised to discover that his dramatic, slightly awkward but lively friend has become the most beautiful woman in the room. Olivia has always felt great affection towards Peregrine, and may have realized a more romantic leaning interest sooner than he did, but she certainly wasn’t expecting him to be quite as well developed as he is.
Peregrine’s parents have always driven him up the wall because they are too dramatic and focused on themselves. It is probably one of the reasons he developed such a strong interest in something that took him far away from home. However, they are now threatening to cut him off if he doesn’t go to Scotland and look after a run-down family castle.
Olivia, on the other hand, has always dreamed of adventures but never had many opportunities for them. She is both excited for and jealous of Peregrine’s travels to Egypt, and is more than happy to arrange a journey to Scotland to keep Peregrine in his parents’ good graces and finally have an adventure of her own. She even gets her step-grandmother’s blessing, who sends two of her younger friends (only in their 70’s) along to be lax chaperones.
While Peregrine has been avoiding trips to England to stay away from his parents, he has also been trying to keep himself distant from Olivia. He has always had great affection for her while also knowing that her level of dramatics is not something he wants or needs in his life. Olivia is also more than aware that their lives would not fit together, but they still give into temptation at the castle even if they cannot see a future beyond these few weeks in Scotland. At least part of the problem is that the two have very much misjudged each other because they have been so focused on the views of each other they developed as children.
Overall, this one was fun, and I did enjoy that Chase returned to the children introduced in Lord Perfect to tell their story, even if this meant that Peregrine was a bit on the young side for a historical romance hero at only 23. While I liked this one, I would say it’s also my least favorite of the Carsington novels I’ve read so far (still missing the first of the series) but that isn’t really a bad thing when all the other novels in the series are pretty strong.