Lady Eleanor (Nell) Griffin felt stifled. With three elder brothers, including His Grace, the duke of Melbourne, it seemed she couldn’t make a move without their approval while they kept a watchful eye on everyone she met, or spoke to – at least the ones that were even allowed within her sphere. Nothing was her decision, and at twenty-one she knew they would soon be picking out some totally boring and crusty old lord for her to marry. Finally Nell decided to assert herself. She was of age and announced her own ‘declaration of independence’ in that she was going to make her own decision as to whom she would, or would not, marry.
Her brother, the Duke of Melbourne decided he would allow her streak of independence only on condition that her actions did not result any scandal be attached to the Griffin name, otherwise she would be married to whomever he chose for her. He called in a favor from an old school chum, the renowned rake, Valentine Corbett, the Marquis of Deverill, to keep tabs on his spirited sister. If it seemed like he was letting a fox into the henhouse, Melbourne knew and counted on his best friend acting honorably towards his sister.
Nell had secretly harbored a crush on the dashing Marquis for years and secretly wanted to emulate the freedom and lifestyle he had – within boundries, of course. Alas, she knew she wanted an adventure, just wasn’t sure what that adventure entailed, and Valentines sudden friendship was perfect as he seemed willing to be her guide in whatever adventure she choose. Val hadn’t counted on how painful paying off his debt to Melbourne was going to be, as he began to see Nell in a new light and his body was reacting to her as more than just the little sister of his best friend!
*** Enoch has created another entertaining and risqué regency tale with a delightful set of protagonists that I thoroughly enjoyed. While it held no surprises as to the outcome, her engaging dialogs, fresh and vibrant writing style, and likeable characters made this experience a real pleasure. Valentines metamorphous from callous rake to discovering he had a heart was truly lovely and his declaration of love – very romantic. Frankly, I totally enjoyed the entire brood of Griffin siblings, especially six-year old Peep, and certainly hope that the author has plans to capitalize on continuing with stories for Sebastian, Charlemagne, and Zachary who now should concentrate on getting their own love lives in order.