Becoming Mr. Brooking

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Becoming Mr. Brooking

Marguerite Butler’s Becoming Mr. Brooking is a delightful Regency love story filled with humor and heart. The perfectly paced romance builds naturally between a lovable heroine and irresistible hero who are more alike than either would initially imagine.

Edwina Tolliver’s forgetful yet brilliant scientist brother, Sir Horace Tolliver, has come to rely on her talents and efficiency too much. She runs his household, Owlbridge Manor, tends his botanical hothouses, and anonymously contributes the extraordinary illustrations for his exploration travelogues. When she learns that she is to host the secretary of her brother’s prospective patron, she has no idea that he will be the man who turns her busy and tightly structured life upside down.

Graham Hatterly is a second son with too much money and time on his hands. His uselessness has begun to weigh on him and he sets out to do something worthwhile by spearheading a philanthropic society, The Second Fiddle Club, which will fund a promising scientific expedition. Top on the list of prospective scientists is Sir Horace Tolliver of Owlbridge Manor in the Cotswolds. When his secretary, Mr. Brooking, falls ill, Graham decides to go and meet Sir Horace himself, but decides that posing as his secretary might afford a more honest appraisal.

When wild weather detains him in the Cotswolds for several weeks, Graham learns that spinster sisters can prove quite beguiling. He vows to remain a bachelor and merely form a friendship with Edwina, particularly as he is posing as his secretary. However, his attraction to her, which begins with her physical beauty, grows day by day as he comes to appreciate Edwina's efficiency, talent and hard-working nature.

In Edwina and Graham, Marguerite Butler has created a hero and heroine who display both human foibles and admirable virtues. It is a joy to watch their relationship develop. Though Graham is initially too carefree and aimless and Edwina too care bound and overburdened, they share an innate desire to be needed and find a purpose for their lives. Neither expects that loving the other might be their greatest purpose of all.

In Becoming Mr. Brooking, Marguerite Butler has created a warm, witty romance featuring the most lovable hero and heroine I have encountered in a long while. Her dialogue is sharp and humorous, and her descriptions of the cast of characters in and around Owlbridge Manor is as amusing as the romance between Winnie and Graham is appealing. I look forward to more Regency romances from Butler.

Book Blurb for Becoming Mr. Brooking

Edwina Tolliver is the sister of noted botanist Sir Horace Tolliver. More than anything, the Tolliver family fortunes rest upon securing sponsorship of her brother's scientific expedition. The last thing she expects, or needs, is to be so helplessly attracted to their sponsor's secretary, Mr. Brooking.

Graham Hatterly is fond of pranks. As far as he's concerned, life is about having a good time. When his secretary, Mr. Brooking suddenly becomes ill on the eve of traveling to investigate a business proposal, this younger son thinks it will be a lark go in his secretary's place. The last thing he expects is to meet the woman of his dreams.

Trapped in the Cotswolds by a flood, there is no escape from the temptations and complications that arise from Graham's game of becoming Mr. Brooking.  

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2011 4.75