It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.
Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs; her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy, and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In many ways, this is one of my favourite romances I have read this year. I was actually quite surprised by how much enjoyment I got out of this book. What the characters were based on put aside, I loved the originality of the cast. When you read a lot of romances, they all tend to blend together after a while, so it was nice to see some characters that really made me want to root for their success.
I really loved Elizabeth’s character. She was intelligent, emotional and just all around the kind of character that you want to learn more about. I understood why she felt the way she did and respected her for being different than the average female character who meets the rich, handsome bachelor.
Donovan was well written and the dialogue he brought to the story was better than the average romance lead character drama. I laughed out loud in multiple places at his observations of the other characters and the situations he found himself in.
The dog shows were well described and I loved that Elizabeth had such a soft spot in her heart for Bliss and for Sue’s companions.
Romance-wise, this story was paced well and the characters didn’t fall in love and end up in bed together within the first chapter. The author allowed them time to build a relationship before she embarked on much intimacy and this made me feel closer to them. I liked that we got to know more about them as individuals before they became a single unit. The sex scene itself was also tasteful and more romantic than gross for those of you who don’t like really explicit descriptions.
I will say, that as much as it made me giggle at times, if you are English, the MANY references to what English people and English men in general are like will either make you laugh or drive you mad. In some places the cliches were so abundant it nearly reminded me of one of those “what American‘s think we do” memes you find on the internet.
There is a bit of imagination stretching to get around things like passports, visas and the ability to simply decide to stay in a country other than your own, but the story warranted a bit of belief suspension and that was okay. I thought the characters were worthy of it.
That and the repeated use of the phrase “Storm clouds gathered in his eyes” were the reason I gave this four stars rather than five. Still, this was a really fun way to pass the hours and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it, more so even than I had expected.
If you are a fan of the lighter romance with a good back story and lots of reasons to smile, this book will be just your thing.
This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.