When a charming rogue proposes she marry him to meet her grandmother's ultimatum, the Sharpe clan's strong-willed sister makes a tempting counter-offer that preserves her inheritance and ignites his imagination.
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother's demands: become engaged to a rogue! Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel. And who better to play the part of Minerva's would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular Gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered in Minerva's imagination, though she has no intention of really falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him. Little does she know, he really is a covert government operative. When they team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents' deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles's secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back into her heart.
Type: Historical Romance, England
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5
You'd think by now these kids would realize they just aren't going to be able to outsmart or outmaneuver their Gran when it comes to her "marry or lose your inheritance" ultimatum. Thank goodness they don't because their attempts are hilarious. Lady Minerva, who writes those scandalous horrid novels, tops them all with her scheme to get back at Gran. What does she do? She puts an ad out in a ladies magazine for a husband. Getting her readers to send over any eligible men for an interview and expecting Gran to back down because of the inappropriate suitors that would show up! Love it! When Giles Masters, the man she's loved and hated since she was a child, shows up to win her she decides he's perfect for the role of "fake fiance" since he's a hellion in his own right and would never be considered appropriate husband material by Gran.
Giles and Minerva were each delightful in their own ways. It took me all of 3 pages to fall for Giles when we get a little flash back to him comforting a scared 9 year old Minerva at her parents' funeral. Aws! One of the things I loved about Giles was that he took Minerva seriously, cared about who she was and didn't try to force her to change into someone she wasn't. He knew her writing was important to her and supported her when most men would have demanded she quit. All he wanted was for her to stop using him as her villain. His wedding gift to her had me getting a little misty eyed it was so thoughtful and perfect. He wasn't without his faults. The double life he lived forcing him to keep secrets and have a hard time trusting others was frustrating even if understandable. That he thought he could get something over on Minerva, though, was pretty laughable considering her intelligence and how quickly she put things together. She knew when things were amiss and was bold enough to ask questions. Her curiosity added some humorous and priceless moments. Especially when got the better of her and she decided to sneak a peek at Giles' goods while he was asleep. She's just too cute and I quickly found myself adoring her and her excitement over new adventures and opportunities like learning to swim or getting to see an actual court case.
Minerva's family didn't disappoint and I was very glad to see a good bit of interaction between the siblings. I loved that her brothers fairly lost their minds over Giles courting their sister. He's one of their best friends and the boys kept threatening to thrash the poor man or glaring daggers at him, wanting to call him out because he was a scoundrel and not good enough for their sister! He couldn't be trusted! Even though they were just as bad and had been gambling, drinking and wenching right along with him over the years. Was pretty priceless. The bickering and barbs they threw at each other were great too.
“I swear, Oliver, when did you become such a stick-in-the-mud?”
“I’ve always been a stick-in-the-mud.” Her brother cast her a thin smile. “I just hid it beneath all the debauchery.”
She sniffed. “I wish you’d hide it again. It’s quite annoying.”How to Woo a Reluctant Lady was a wonderful read. The perfect mix of serious issues with silly, fun and sweet moments between Lady Minerva and Giles. A little interfering from Gran, a handful of over protective brothers and a couple surprises along the way. There were some interesting developments in the mystery of the parents' deaths also. I wasn't expecting the little twist and loved getting a bit of a surprise and that nothing is as it seems. This series gets better with each book and has me itching to start the next one as soon as I've finished reading the last page.