Nicholas is the second book in the intriguing Lonely Lords series from wonderfully talented Grace Burrowes. The writer grabbed my interest with the first book in this series, and left me eager for the next book. This second book definitely lived up to my anticipation.
The story opens with Nicholas Haddonfield in the market for a bride. The randy rake has promised his ailing father that he will secure a wife by the seasons end. Despite his promise, Nicholas has no intention of carrying on the family line, so any marriage will be a white one. He finds himself striking up a friendship/ flirtation with Leah Lindsey, a young lady with bit of scandal in her past. When Nick discovers that Leah is in physical danger from her malicious father he offers his protection and a marriage of convenience. He's sure that he can resist the sizzling chemistry that they share. There's just one problem...Leah has her heart set on a true marriage.
My thoughts: I liked Leah, but she could get on my last nerve with her doormat personality. She seemed a little dense to me. Her father wants to give her to a diseased old lecher, yet she turns down a marriage proposal from a handsome heir to an Earldom. Then after hitching her wagon to Nick she is willing to turn her empty head when she obviously thinks her new husband is carrying on with a mistress who's stashed right next door. That wasn't the real situation, but Leah believed it was, and she never said a word. Now, I would have personally snatched somebodies hair out. I'm just saying....that didn't endear her to me at all. I like my heroines strong, savvy and independent.
Nick was a strong, but exasperating, hero. He was attentive and affectionate, and a lovely change from the tortured and brooding hero I read about so often. Yes, he had some issues, but as it turned out, they weren't major ones. I loved how protective he was of the people in his life. He wanted to protect Leah from her father, and from himself as well. In the end his reasons for wanting a white marriage were somewhat lame, even if he did he mean well. It only took a few questions to learn the truth of those risks that almost caused him to lose the love of his life.
Bottom line: I was totally entertained by this story. Ms. Burrowes has a way of creating characters that I can relate to. Her eloquent writing style keeps the story flowing well and kept me interested right to the end. The suspense part was played out brilliantly, keeping me guessing about the identity of Nick’s mysterious blonde lady right up til the end. I felt that Burrowes did a good job with fleshing out the characters, making me like them for their good qualities even when I got frustrated at times.
The writer also set up an intriguing and intense secondary plot concerning Nick's estranged brother, Ethan. The third book will feature Ethan, and promises to tug at the heart strings.
So I enjoyed this engaging book. I recommend it to all historical readers, and am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series
Heir to the Bellefonte earldom, Viscount Nicholas Haddonfield has made a promise to his dying father that he’ll marry before the Season’s over. When Nick meets Lady Leah Lindsey, he realizes he’s found not only a damsel lady in need of rescuing, but also a perfect countess of convenience. Then he spoils everything by falling in love with his wife…the one woman he can never, ever have.