I always enjoy Kelly Bowen’s novels so I am not entirely ensure why I haven’t read all her novels yet. I guess it’s always nice to leave authors for when stumped for a next read. This novella is considered part of her A Season for Scandal series but also served to introduce her follow on series, The Devils of Dover, with the introduction of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies.
Charlotte wants to be an artist but as the daughter of a duke, her family expects her to follow conventions, despite her obvious skill as a painter. To break out, she makes a deal with King, who lands her the gig she wants, painting a church. The only catch – she has to pretend to be a young man, Charlie. The architect in charge knows of her true identity but is happy to overlook it for her abilities and to appease their mutual acquaintance. The other artist on the job, however, does not know this and wonders how a man with no name was able to even get the work.
Flynn Rutledge recently suffered an embarrassment in front of society, and hates and distrusts all noble born as a result. He needs this work at the church to be a success so he can continue to get commissioned work and restore his reputation. While Flynn quickly discovers the truth of Charlie’s gender, he respects her and hides her secrets, but Charlie is afraid that if he ever discovers her true upbringing, he will never forgive her.
It was a straightforward romance novella – I enjoyed the characters while reading it, but they definitely haven’t made an indelible impression to get them added to my favorites. Basically, it’s the perfect comfort read, a reliable romance with a strong heroine that hits all the expected plot points.