Kindle – 77 Pages
(Maitland Maidens, #1)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency, 1812)
Mr. Benedict Grey is the only heir to a long-standing title, and he knows his duty: find a suitable girl, get married, secure the succession beyond himself. But if a gentleman could be called a wallflower, Benedict would fit the description perfectly. And for the past six years, he’s been out of Society more than he’s been in it. How will he find a woman to wed and bed when he can barely converse with the ladies of the ton?
Lady Honoria Maitland has promised her dying father that, before he breathes his last, she would find a husband to take care of her. But she wants a gentleman that loves her, not her dowry or her name. When she reunites with her old friend Benedict, she proposes a plan that will help them both: a faux courtship and betrothal. She can teach him how to woo a woman and simultaneously ease her father’s last days. But Honoria’s clever plan failed to account for Benedict’s heart…or her own. Is she strong enough to bear the loss of her father and her friend?
SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME, the first book in her Maitland Maidens series, is Ms Lee’s debut work which was originally published in the anthology, Sweet Summer Kisses.
Antiquarian Benedict Grey is tongue-tied and awkward at society events and only too aware that he bores everyone to death. Circumstances require him to marry and produce an heir but he know he lacks the necessary social skills to court a potential wife.
Believing he is terminally ill, Lady Honoria Maitland’s father wants his daughter settled before he dies and has sent her off for a season in London to look for a husband. Although Honoria has enough money to live independently, her father believes she needs a man to protect her and there is also her young brother to consider. After eleven years on the marriage mart, she has very little hope of finding love which is the one thing she truly wants.
Benedict and Honoria were childhood friends and when they meet again at a Christmas House Party, Honoria proposes a plan that will be mutually beneficial. She will teach him how to woo a lady while he agrees to a sham betrothal to put her father’s mind at rest. However…
“Things rarely end up the way we plan them.”
I really enjoyed this friends-to-lovers romance with its likeable hero and heroine and it was also refreshing to have a less-than-perfect hero. Even within the confines of 70 pages, Ms Lee succeeds in giving her characters sufficient depth to make them feel real. She also conveys the relationship between Benedict and Honoria in a believable and charming way. I usually love plenty of heat in my romances but, in this book, I feel the lack of explicit love scenes fits the general mood of the story perfectly.
I like Ms Lee’s intelligent and engaging writing style and I know that she employs a British editor which definitely shows in her choice of vocabulary and lack of Americanisms, the bane of British readers like myself.
MY VERDICT: A well-written and charming short story and I will be looking out for book 2 in the Maitland Maiden series, BACK IN MY ARMS AGAIN.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: KISSES
Read September 2016