Cynthia Brightly shone brightly at all of the ton gatherings for a couple of seasons. During the current one, she gets engaged to a peer. Suddenly, rumors are flying that the engagement is off and there was a duel involved. Cynthia accepts an invitation to a two week house party from Violet Redmond. She now has two weeks to find herself another husband or her most promising position is being a companion to a crotchety old woman. There’s only 3 pounds in her reticule and she has no family or family ties to fall back on. Surely, one of the eligible gentlemen at this party can be brought up to scratch.
Miles Redmond knows Cynthia is looking to make a match and is more interested in the man’s money than the man himself. He overheard her speaking at a ball a couple of years ago and overheard her state that she couldn’t waste her time with him as he wasn’t the heir. Miles was attracted to her then and now that he’s the heir apparent isn’t sure what to do about her. He’s still attracted to her but his father has other plans for him, plans that do not include Cynthia. If Miles wants to follow his dreams of traveling to exotic places, he’d be better off doing as his father wishes. The problem is, he’d really like to have Cynthia as well as do what he should.
I liked the characters in this book. They seemed to be well developed and worked not only well with each other but were a good representation of the time frame that this book was portraying. Milthorpe is a country person and more interested in good dogs, horses and a hunt than society in London and balls. Argosy is a pampered aristocrat with several sisters. His manners are impeccable but he has no purpose in life. Violet is a spoiled, bored rich young woman who knows her family loves her regardless of what she does. Cynthia was the only character that would not have naturally fit in this society as she was from a poorer background yet how she got to where she did made perfect sense.
The story was good. It was interesting to read how Cynthia would flirt and get the men interested in her. She genuinely like them and was interested in what they were saying or doing. At no time did she want to hurt them. Still, she was under pressure to get married. She also had a problem with her growing attraction to Miles. She needed to do something about it, but what? It’s not like he didn’t have his own problems with the young woman picked out by his father.
While this book was enjoyable, there were obvious references to previous books. This did not really distract from the story but let the reader know that if they wanted to know more about the Redmond family, there are other books available.
It's the last chance for Cynthia Brightly, the ton's most bewitching belle. Driven out of London by a secret scandal, she must find a grand husband at the Redmonds' house party before word of her downfall spreads all over England. Unfortunately, someone at Pennyroyal Green is already privy to the whispers of broken engagements and dueling lovers: Miles Redmond, renowned explorer and—thanks to his brother's disappearance—heir to the family's enormous fortune.
Miles set his sights on Cynthia once, at a time when the ambitious beauty thought herself too good for a second son. But now he's heir apparent, relishing his control. He strikes a bargain with her: he'll keep Cynthia's steamy secrets and help her find a husband among the guests—in exchange for a single kiss.
What could be the harm in a simple kiss? Cynthia is about to discover that it's enough to unleash fierce passion—and that Miles Redmond is most certainly like no other lover in the world.