Pub date: Dec 9, 2013 (ARC review)
H/h - Aiden Masters, the Earl of Charnley/Tess Stanhope
Setting: England, 1813.
Read in Dec, 2013.
3.75 stars. This was my first book by Jane Beckenham and while I enjoyed the story, I found the writing style uneven. Sometimes it was great, sometimes not so much. I don't know, maybe that's just me but it didn't work for me always. The story started out rather well and had a flow to it throughout, even though I'm not really fond of authors disguising their heroines in men's clothing and no one ever seem to have a clue that this is a woman! I was glad Aiden knew that fact about Tess straight-out even though he played along due to the circumstances. I had some trouble liking Tess in the beginning; most especially how she blackmailed Aiden into marrying her, also how she was always contradicting herself. But in the end, she improved and her self-reflections were enough to convince me that she recognized her faults. I especially became fond of her when she started her campaign for Alexander, Aiden's deceased wife's son, who was adorable. I found Aiden frustrating at times too, his treatment of Alexander was one of those things, and constant misunderstanding between them because of his rash judgement. However, I thank the author for not dragging those misunderstandings out for too long and bestowing Tess and Aiden with that eagerness to work things out. This is what made me believe that they indeed came to care for each-other. Secondary characters were interesting, hope to see Aiden's siblings Mary and Jasper's stories in future. Full review to follow...