Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: Sent
Everyone knows William Bredon, the earl of Pembroke, has a reputation as a captivating rogue, determined to never marry until his duty to produce an heir requires it. So when he invites Lady Hannah Rochester to dance, Hannah vows to keep her distance. But the undeniably gorgeous William, with his dark humor and seductive gaze, draws her in nonetheless.
Of course, Lady Hannah is not completely what she seems, either. A member of the dowager Lady Lancaster’s Garden Society, she secretly spends her days solving mysteries and uncovering intrigues, and when she brings William into the fold, a sinister plot develops that brings the two closer together. William’s protective nature ensures he remains by Hannah’s side, but he will not surrender his anti-marriage stance. Can intrigue, passion, and maybe even a little bit of scandal reform the most notorious of rakes?
An engaging start to a new series that is enjoyable to the end.
Lady Lancaster hosts five young ladies on a regular basis at her home; the Young Ladies Garden Society meeting is, for all outward appearances, a social gathering however these young ladies are here for a purpose. Several years ago Lady Lancaster was bored after her husband died and came up with the idea of helping others, usually respectable families, out of the kindness of her heart. And while it may have started as charitable and innocent, lately the women are being asked to do more, such as solving mysteries and crimes.
The five ladies were all recruited for their skills; Rose Warren hides a logical mind, Hope Stuckeley is a people pleaser, Sarah Jardin is compassionate and willing to help, Emily Moss is a master of disguises, and then there is Hannah Rochester. It was Hannah who Lady Lancaster first invited to join her. She is the daughter of an Earl and is able to gain access to all walks of society.
Hannah finds out her brother David is involved with an illegal smuggling scheme and she wants to help him get out of trouble since lately he has been involved with several scandalous problems and along with two others (Simon Trumbull and Alexander Bredon) has been getting into trouble. She talks to Lady Lancaster about her dilemma and the Duchess suggests that Hannah might want to gain the help of Alexander’s brother William.
William Bredon, the Earl of Pembroke is an eligible bachelor that usually stays away from the social activity that surrounds the ton, he is in no hurry to marry and will only do so when it is time to produce an heir. His father treated everyone in the family poorly, beating his mother, brother and himself and William has always been afraid that he may turn into his father when he married. He will only go to these social functions when his mother specifically asks him, as he would do anything to please her. So he finds himself at a ball where he meets Hannah and is immediately attracted to her. He even saves her from Lord Shrewsbury who has been causing problems for Hannah, as he wants to marry her and she would rather do anything except that.
As William and Hannah uncover information about the smuggling, they find out that not only are the three friends involved but Lord Shrewsbury also seems to have a hand in the operation. He even goes so far as to try to blackmail Hannah into marriage in order to save her brother. So William and Hannah come up with a plan that involves the Garden Society’s young ladies along with the brothers. As the danger and intrigue build, they find they must create a bit of chaos in order to succeed with their plan.
I enjoyed this fun and interesting story, this is the beginning of a series about those that belong to the Young Ladies Garden Society. I like all the characters and enjoyed the chemistry between William and Hannah. They became friends trying to help each other’s brother get out of trouble and as they tried to reach this common goal, their relationship grows. Although William is reluctant to get married I did feel that he “fell” a bit too fast toward the end for Hannah. After Hannah experiences an accident that comes close to killing her, he was immediately in love and it did not matter anymore that he was worried he would turn into his father. I did love the way those around both Hannah and William conspired to get them together with some reverse psychology, the mothers were fun and I laughed out loud at one incident. All in all a wonderful start and I look forward to seeing these characters in upcoming books.
I give Taming Her Forbidden Earl by Catherine Hemmerling 3.50 stars!