This is the fourth and, I’m assuming, final book in the Rokesby series. All the books work fine on their own, you do not need to read any others for the story to make sense.
Nicholas Rokesby, the fourth son of the Earl of Manston, is studying to be a doctor in Edinburgh. When he receives an urgent summons from his parents while he’s in the middle of taking important exams, he assumes someone may be dead or at least dying, so he travels back home as quickly as possible. There he is told that Georgiana “Georgie” Bridgerton, his father’s goddaughter and Nicholas’ lifelong friend, was abducted by a desperate suitor, and although nothing actually happened, she is now compromised in the eyes of society and will either be forced to remain a spinster forever or marry her abductor to save her reputation, unless Nicholas does the honourable thing and offers to marry her instead. All of Nicholas’ siblings have married for love, and he is rather appalled that his parents are expecting such a sacrifice from him. On the other hand, it’s not like it’s Georgie’s fault that some over-eager idiot decided to try to kidnap her and force her into marriage, and while he views her almost as a sister, they have always been fast friends. There are worse fates.
Georgiana “Georgie” Bridgerton never wanted a London season. She’s pretty sure she’d be bored stiff and it always seemed to her to be a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, she was flattered when Freddie Oakes danced with her while she was in London with her mother, and offered to take her to a bookshop. She didn’t suspect for a second that he’d literally kick her maid out of the carriage and drive off towards Gretna Green, intent on forcing Georgie into marriage, so her generous dowry could cover his gambling debts. Georgie incapacitated him and tied him to a chair and managed to escape once they got to a coaching inn, but having spent most of a day in a carriage with him, her reputation is ruined and the scandal is inevitable.
Georgie is certainly not expecting Nicholas Rokesby, her brother’s best friend and someone she grew up with to suddenly show up, having taken time away from his medical studies in Scotland, to offer to marry her. Georgie doesn’t want to be pitied by anyone. She doesn’t want to feel indebted to the man who “saves” her reputation. She hates that through no fault of hers, she is suddenly considered damaged goods and only marriage to someone can “cleanse” her in the eyes of society. Initially, she refuses Nicholas’ proposal and is angry, but after an eventful night seeing how capable he is in a crisis and having had time to think about their long friendship and how comfortable they are in each other’s company, she decides that marriage to him is better than a life alone, or worse, married to the odious Freddie Oakes.
Full review on my blog.