2 of 5 stars
This is the first story I've read by Ms. Kendall, and I have to say that I was disappointed in it. It is the story of Miss Elizabeth Smith and her encounter with Viscount Derek Creswell. When they are caught in the garden sharing a passionate kiss by the ton's worst gossip, Elizabeth blurts out that they are engaged. It's the only thing she can think of to save her reputation. Thus begins her first lie in the story. I love Regency romances, but this one didn't always seem to follow the rules of the period. I don't believe it would have been proper for a young lady to go for a carriage ride with a gentlemen she's just met without an escort, especially not in a closed carriage, but I could be wrong about this.
I didn't make any connection with Elizabeth's character. She didn't come across as the naive virgin she was supposed to be and Derek's character was downright mean. He goes to extraordinary lengths to embarrass and humiliate her and Elizabeth doesn't take offense. She also seems powerless to control her own lust when she's around him, certainly not the actions of a proper young lady of the period. This was not a sweet romance between two people who start off on the wrong foot, but one of manipulation and deception. I was also disappointed when the book ended at 66% on my Kindle. I thought there would be more and not the convenient quick wrap-up in the epilogue. In the end I didn't like either Elizabeth or Derek. I'm glad I got this book for free because otherwise I would have been sorely disappointed if I had wasted anything more than my time.