I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Little Season #3
Published by HQN on July 26, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks • Add to Goodreads
London’s Little Season has never been so scandalous
It’s the kind of vow often made on the battlefield. Darby Travers, Viscount Nailbourne, never imagines he’ll have to honor it. Yet here she is on his doorstep—his late comrade’s young daughter, and Darby’s new ward. Worse, she comes with the most overprotective, mistrustful, bothersome chaperone—the child’s aunt, Sadie Grace Boxer. Darby is quite sure that behind her lovely facade, the woman is guarding a secret.
Sadie Grace faced many trials working in her brother’s surgery, but none prepared her for the world she’s thrust into with his passing. Navigating the ton, with its endless ball gowns and parade of parties, is difficult enough, but hiding the truth about her niece while the sophisticated viscount watches her every move proves nearly impossible—particularly when his searing gaze tempts her to bare all. But when her family’s past catches up with her, she’ll have to trust in Darby…no matter the cost to her heart.
I thoroughly enjoy Kasey Michaels’ Regency romps—er, romances—and when I found out book 2 of her new Little Season series was due to come out, I immediately applied for an ARC. I’d five-starred the first book in this series, An Improper Arrangement, and was looking forward to more madcap misses and lusty yet lovable lords. And A Reckless Promise did not disappoint, even if the madcap miss in this case is the heroine’s niece rather than the heroine herself, and I was even more delighted to learn that many of the characters in the first book would be supporting the main couple in this one.
Front and center in this book is the signature Kasey Michaels sense of humor, which is evident in every chapter, from the main characters’ impressions of one another to the trouble-making supporting characters who were both mad and maddening to the circumstances all the characters found themselves in. There’s a lot of the chaotic slapstick I’ve always associated with the traditional commedia dell’arte-type plots, and it makes for laugh-out-loud moments while reading, so fair warning if you tend to read in public.
Darby, Viscount Nailbourne (aka Uncle Nailbourne, much to his horror), is definitely a lovable kind of hero; in a genre where surly bordering-on-cruel love-resistant lords in denial are the norm, he’s refreshingly nice. He’s good with kids and puppies and while he does resist the notion that he’s fallen head-over-heels for Sadie Grace for longer than he should, he’s nevertheless charming and lovable and loyal. Better yet, he’s a champion problem solver, or so it seems from the plot of this book, which makes his prolonged inability to resolve things with Sadie endearingly frustrating.
Sadie Grace “Boxer,” on the other hand, is a self-sacrificing lady who loves and will do anything for her young niece, even if it means leaving her with her aristocratic guardian. That she falls for said guardian fairly quickly is inconvenient, considering the oh-so-convenient marriage he proposes. I like that she’s obviously got a spine and intelligence and is willing to own up to her mistakes, especially when she’s caught out in a lie, but she’s also good at compromise and tends to put others’ needs and wants before her own. If there’s one thing to complain about, it’s probably her lack of insight as far as Darby’s feelings are concerned, when she seems eagle-eyed when it comes to other people.
We revisit many of the characters from the first book in this series, thanks to Darby’s friendship with them, and as someone who loved that book, it was something I really enjoyed. But I had to worry that the charming chaos they bring to the story would seem only more chaotic and less charming to someone who picked this book up hoping to read it as a standalone. I don’t know that I would recommend it as a read to someone who hasn’t read the rest of the series, which is probably the main reason I rated this read 4 stars instead of 5.
Feel Factor Rating:
The Little Season
Series Reading Order