Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Just One of Those Flings - Candice Hern
This is book 2 in the Benevolent Widows series. I started it with some expectations because I did read the first one and didn't find it entirely bad even if it had some problems.
Beatrice, Lady Somerfield, is too busy acting as chaperone for her headstrong niece to take her friends' advice to find a lover. Maybe next year, she thinks. Until one night at a masquerade ball when a dark stranger makes her realize what she's been missing.
When she finally discovers his identity as the Marquess of Thayne, the very man she has practically been pushing into her niece's arms as the Catch of the Season, Beatrice is horrified. But Thayne is thoroughly captivated by Beatrice, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the beautiful, sensual, more mature and sophisticated Lady Somerfield, and soon discovers he wants more than a love affair. Beatrice, however, has vowed never to marry again. But when their private fling leads to public scandal, more than one life is turned upside down.
This one has the merit of an original start. It's so often we hear how widows and married ladies engaged themselves in illicit affairs but then we are always stuck with a virginal heroine who no matter how TSTL always ends up compromised by a noble gentleman who does his duty. It was rather refreshing to start this story with one of those ballroom dalliances just for the sake of the moment, no questions asked. Even if soon that's not only what it is...
I didn't much care for that plot device that had him pursuing her niece before he knew who she was , it seemed the kind of thing that usually brings about big misunderstandings. It was however nice to have Thayne and Beatrice as lovers, just enjoying themselves and sharing things about each other's life. And I was quite happy with the action going in that direction - spending time together, falling in love and marrying. So I was extremely annoyed with Beatrice for refusing Thayne, he had been a pleasant fellow and her fears of marriage seemed a bit artificial to me. I guess Hern felt she needed a conflit to stir up the action but to me those last chapters seemed a bit unnecessary unless you count it as a setup for the next book. Anyway this last part made me lower the grade a bit.
PS. I love the cover