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Augustus Manning sat by the sickbed, waiting for his father to die. The air was humid with the rancid scents of illness and impending death. Closed velvet curtains rebuffed the afternoon light, cloaking the chamber in long shadows. Sunshine had no business in this lifeless place.
The Earl of Bellingham's labored breathing punctured the silence. He sucked in gasping breaths, as though determined to fight off the inevitable for as long as possible. Stubborn to the end. Augustus suppressed an impatient sigh. How much longer would the old man hold on?
He'd waited four interminable years for the bastard's heart to give out. Silence rang through the chamber, and it took him a moment to realize the gasping sounds had ceased. Anticipation stirred in his chest as the doctor leaned over the frail form on the bed before straightening and bowing to Augustus, murmuring words of sympathy.
Suppressing a delighted smile, Augustus rose and drew back his shoulders, his chest expanding to fill the role to which he'd been born. He strode from the chamber, passing his younger brother, who dragged heavy hands down his ashen face, and his father's faithful valet, who bowed with deference to the new Earl of Bellingham.
The staff, who watched him hurry to the stables before rearing off on his thoroughbred, likely thought pain and anguish drove the dead man's eldest son. But in truth, sheer exhilaration — bright and joyous — broke free inside of him. He would finally have it all: the money, the title, and the lady who inhabited his dreams. The new Earl of Bellingham finally meant to claim what was his.
And nothing and no one was going to stop him.
Swallowing her nerves, Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope stood to the side of the crowded assembly room and hoped no one took notice of her. Unfortunately, it didn't appear to be working.
Her new friend, Lady Florinda Bromley, threaded through the throng to Willa's side. "You have an admirer. Viscount Mowbry said you are a diamond of the first whose loveliness easily outshines everyone else present this evening."
Willa had already noted Mowbry's interest. The viscount, elegant in evening finery, stood next to a slight fellow in bright colors, sliding an aloof gaze over her with obvious appreciation. She pretended not to notice the polite inspection, comprehending full well that nothing would come of it. At three-and-twenty, she'd never had a proper marriage offer. Except for that one time four years ago. If one could credit that debacle. "Nonsense, Flor, he could be looking at anyone."
"No, I have excellent hearing. He was discussing you with that fop standing next to him." Flor, a slight girl with red curly hair, pushed her spectacles up the bridge of her nose with her pointer finger. "After all, who else present is in possession of chocolate-colored curls of silk and skin like a fine cream?"
"He said that?"
Flor nodded, her green eyes sparkling with wicked humor. "He's not exactly Byron, is he? And I heard him utter the most scandalous thing."
Her stomach lurched. "Scandalous?" She'd had enough scandal to last her a lifetime.
"He said something about large velvet brown eyes and a sumptuous form that made a man think of things he shouldn't when looking at a lady." Amusement lined her forehead. "It would all be enormously flattering if only the viscount weren't a buffoon with nothing but air between his ears."
"Florinda!" Willa couldn't help but smile at the girl's audacity. They'd become fast friends this season — her new cohort's blunt nature being one of the qualities she admired most. It helped that the earl's daughter knew everything there was to know about Town, unlike Willa, whose parents had always preferred country living.
"Look, he's coming towards us." Flor's skeptical gaze followed the viscount. "I'd wager he'll ask someone for an introduction."
Apprehension rolled in her stomach. She darted a look at the gentleman, who did indeed appear to be heading in their direction. He was waylaid by his companion, a well-known dandy and gossip, who put a staying hand on his lordship's arm and murmured something into his ear. The viscount's eyebrows inched up a little at a time as he listened, then his gaze darted back to Willa. Only this time, the bold appraisal lacked any pretense of courtesy, wandering over her curves with insolent scrutiny, as though he could see straight through her gown.
"The blackguard!" Flor inhaled a shocked breath. "Did you see the discourteous manner in which he regarded you?"
Willa's gut twisted. The way he'd looked at her made her feel like a strumpet. It intensified the uneasy feeling which had lingered all evening. The curious glances from some guests, the whispers when she passed one group of matrons. Clearly, rumors of her ruination still circulated. One would think there'd be a new scandal for the ton to focus on by now.
Ignoring her discomfort, she slipped her arm through Flor's. "Come now. I, for one, intend to enjoy this evening. It is my first Season in years."
She surveyed the dancing couples and groups of people sitting or standing at the edges of the hall against crimson wallpaper and carved flattened columns which glimmered under immense two-tiered chandeliers. The chattering crowd grew louder and the air more still with each new arrival. Her sister Addie's come-out ball was proving a great success. There was even talk the Regent himself might make an appearance.
It had been an age since she'd circulated among these people. At first, the threat of scandal had kept her family away after Willa's first and only season. Then her father had fallen ill, lingering for months before succumbing, which led to another year of mourning and seclusion in the country.
"Willa," Flor said as they made their way to the refreshment table. "Perhaps I shouldn't mention this but —"
"Come now, you've never held your tongue before." She squeezed her friend's arm. "Surely you don't mean to start now. I would be sorely disappointed if you did."
Flor gave a grim smile of acknowledgement. "I don't want to upset you, but you shouldn't be taken by surprise."
"Out with it then."
"Augustus Manning is here."
"Augustus?" A sharp pain knifed through her. She'd confided a bit about Augustus to her new friend. Not all of it, of course. She'd never tell anyone the entire truth. "How do you know?"
"I saw him with my own eyes just a few minutes ago. He was heading to the cards room."
"How is that possible? He did not receive an invitation." She darted a look toward the chamber in question, scanning the crowd for the man she had expected to spend a lifetime with, who had instead became the source of her greatest humiliation. "Are you certain it was he?"
Flor nodded, sighing with obvious appreciation. "It is difficult to mistake a gentleman with looks as fine as that."
Her throat felt as though someone had lodged their fist in it. "I suppose it had to happen at some point."
Sympathy lit Flor's eyes. "Come now, forget about that fribble. Let us walk and dazzle everyone with our superior beauty and charm."
"I seem to have torn my gown during the last set," she lied, eager for escape. "I must have it attended to."
Once free of her friend, she headed to the terrace. To her relief, the long, narrow structure appeared mostly empty. She took a moment to enjoy her reprieve in the quiet coolness of the darkened veranda. Breathing in the clear night air, she tilted her face upward to feel the soft spring breeze brush across her skin.
Augustus. She understood now that it hadn't been a love match, but they had been friends once. Or so she'd thought. The memories flooded back. The two of them, along with his brother and her sister, had spent countless easy summer days as children exploring the grounds surrounding their adjoining estates. And then the inn had happened.
"I see the years have only added to the lady's beauty."
A chill shot up her back as the smooth timbre of Augustus' voice washed over her. Forcing her leaden legs to move, she turned to face him, the dark specter from her past silhouetted by the brilliance of the ballroom behind him.
He'd always been handsome, and the passage of years had ripened that boyish promise into true masculine beauty. Augustus carried his impressive height and long limbs with a lanky, almost careless elegance that spoke of prominent birth and a sense of entitlement. Perfectly ruffled golden hair highlighted a strong jaw that belied the weak man Willa now knew him to be.
"I see you remain the loveliest rose in all England."
It was a lie of course. She was no great beauty. Her eyes were too big, her lips so large they were almost vulgar, and her figure far more womanly than the preferred current style.
"I heard of your father's passing," he said. "My sincerest condolences, my dearest Willa." He used her nickname casually, as though they still belonged to each other.
"Why are you here? You were not invited."
"An unintended oversight, I'm sure. No matter. For a bit of coin, invitations can be easily redirected."
"You shouldn't have come."
He frowned over the bridge of a nose so straight and symmetrical even Michelangelo would have marveled over it. "Come, Willa, 'tis me, Augustus. What is with such coldness for an admirer who desires nothing more than the precious gift of a lady's smile?"
A kernel of anger stirred inside her. She might appear to be the same naïve girl on the outside, but Willa viewed life through different eyes now, knowing it could change in an instant. She'd learned firsthand, after the disaster with Augustus and then her father's death. The young girl who had challenged Augustus to race their horses through the countryside, her untamed hair flying — jesting with him on the rare occasion that she actually beat him — had vanished. Those summers, and the world of innocent possibility that came with them, seemed like a lifetime ago. "There was a time you asked for far more than a mere smile."
"Let's not dwell on the past," he said. "Not when we have the brightest of futures to look forward to."
"Of course, with the depth of feeling that you and I can only find in each other."
Her throat constricted. "The time for any sort of romantic foolishness has passed." She turned away and rested her gloved hands on the cold stone balustrade, the chill stealing up her arms and rippling through her insides. "Surely, you recognize the realities of the world. You certainly assured that I did."
"Balderdash." He moved beside her, close enough for his perfume to fill her nostrils with the smell of rosemary, almonds, and old memories that were best forgotten. "I have come to take you to wife. Nothing stands between us now."
Her heart took a slight leap. Perhaps she'd been wrong about him. Maybe his regard for her would prove strong enough after all. "The earl has agreed to this?" she ventured, feeling the tiniest sprig of hope. "Or have you decided to proceed without your father's consent?" He laughed, but it was a mirthless sound. "It is what the Earl of Bellingham desires above all else."
"I don't understand." The old earl had always been firmly opposed to any match between them. He'd been in search of a larger dowry, but Augustus had convinced her they could overcome his objections. Foolishly — disastrously — she'd believed him. "How could this be?"
"My father is dead. Not three days in the ground, and I have come for you because I couldn't bear to wait one moment longer for us to be together." He resumed his smiling demeanor, yet no warmth emanated from him. "Once an appropriate mourning period is past, we shall become betrothed, just as we should have in earnest four years ago."
It took her a moment to comprehend his words. His father dead. After all these years, nothing stood between them. She paused, waiting for a warm surge of joy now that they could finally be together. But there was ... nothing. The only warmth she felt came from the anger kindling in her chest.
"I see." Comprehension sank in. "Do you dare delude yourself into thinking I would accept you now? After the humiliation you inflicted upon me, sir?"
She stilled at the sound of laughter from a couple approaching from the far side of the terrace. She drew back into the shadows, away from Augustus. She had no desire to be seen alone with him and risk resurrecting the old rumors. "Please, take your leave of me. I am not so foolish as to repeat the follies of my past."
He stepped closer. "You are even lovelier in your anger." A satisfied smile crossed his face. "It appears you have grown up, my wild Willa."
"Indeed. I am a great deal wiser than the foolish girl you knew."
"And a great deal more beautiful." He looked at her from under heavy eyelids. "I dare say the secret pleasures of marriage will be even more enjoyable than I've anticipated all these years."
Her stomach revolted at the thought of resuming any kind of intimacy with this man. "I shall never marry."
"Now, now. That will never do. Surely you comprehend that a female who displeases God by refusing to take a husband and procreate is consigned to lead the apes into hell."
"I would much prefer to guide the monkeys into Hades rather than become your wife."
"You, an ape leader? Such loveliness would be wasted on the shelf." Cool eyes skated over the curves of her body. "I would enjoy pressing the issue, but it won't do for my future countess to be tainted by further scandal."
She gritted her teeth. "I will never marry. Not you nor anyone else."
"Nonsense." He drew back and executed a quick bow. "We are meant to be together. No one else shall ever have you." Spinning on his heels, he marched into the ballroom.
She squelched the urge to fling something hard and heavy at the earl's retreating back. Furious thoughts crowded her head. How had she ever borne such a disagreeable man? To have contemplated a life with him?
Only a foolish young girl would have considered it. Her own come-out Season years ago had met with great success, but she'd only had eyes for Augustus, who'd pressed his suit despite his father's vehement disapproval. It shamed her to wonder whether his undeniable good looks had swayed her judgment of his character, even after he'd begun to change from the solemn boy she'd befriended into the intolerable man he was now.
A sudden movement at the bottom of the terrace steps cut into her thoughts. The gravel crunched and then went silent.
Someone was down there.
Willa peered down into the shadows where the light of a garden torch illuminated a masculine face etched in hard lines. He leaned into the flame, giving the unlit cheroot in his mouth a few quick inhales, cajoling it to take. When it sparked and smoked, the man leaned back with a satisfied air, taking a deep inhale.
He was likely a footman staying out of view while taking a break from his duties. Disconcerted, she called out in a chastising tone. "You there, what do you mean by hiding in the shadows listening to private discourse?"
"That was quite a scene," the shadow drawled. "I look forward with great anticipation to seeing how this charming love story concludes." Tall and darkly clothed, his bearing was not that of a servant, but someone of breeding would never smoke in front of a lady.
"You are very insolent," she said heatedly, "to speak to me in such a manner."
He regarded her with amused curiosity. "A thousand pardons, ma'am."
She moved down the stairs to get a better look at him. Closer inspection revealed he wore formal evening attire topped with a snowy cravat. Not a servant then. He took a deep drag and exhaled. Lazy circles of silvery smoke melted into nothingness around the glow of the flame, steeping the air with the pungent aroma of burning tobacco.
"Forgive me if I have transgressed." He stepped away from the torch, the glowing tip of the cheroot dancing in the dark as he moved. "However, in my defense, I was here previous to your romantic assignation on the terrace."
"Romantic assignation? It was no such thing!" She prayed he'd have the good manners to vanish as quickly and quietly as he had appeared.
Instead, the scoundrel chuckled. "Once the heart-warming declarations of love and marriage began, I was keen to learn how it would all resolve itself."
She batted the smoke away in quick, jerky movements. "It was private —"
"Most assignations are," he interrupted, his eyes dancing. "Are felicitations on your impending betrothal in order? Allow me to be the first to bestow them."
"You are insufferable." Embarrassed indignation filled her chest. "A gentleman would have made his presence known. But you are obviously no gentleman."
Excerpted from "Compromising Willa"
Copyright © 2013 Dora Mekouar.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Really loved this book. Great characters. They really should have put Gus on trial to get rid of the sick bastard! Loved Willa and Hart. Wonderful story and well written.
Great author! Love this series!
I had a few reasons that I really wanted to read Compromising Willa. The first reason is that I have read another book in the Accidental Peers by Diana Quincy and I really enjoyed it. It was a great story. So when I had a chance to read this book I jumped at the chance. The second reason I really wanted to read this book is more personal. I loved that Willa's name was Wilhelmina, my Grandmother's name was Wilhelmina so I felt a personal connection to Willa right away. Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope has had a rough few years. She has come to the conclusion she really would just rather not marry. Her life is going on fine on her own and she thinks she wants to keep it that way. That is until the man that jilted her and ruined her reputation arrives back in town. Earl of Bellingham is determined to have Willa for his own and he doesn't care what means he has to go to in order to accomplish this. However Duke of Hartwell is just back in town as well and he has an instant attraction for Willa. Willa is a little offish at first because she wants to stay single. These two have some tension between them that adds to the sparks they create when they are together. I really enjoyed watching these two get to know each other. I don't want to tell you two much but a lot of drama happens and situations are changed. Many things occur and a lot of secrets are revealed. This book is a page turner. I could not wait to see what could possibly happen next. There were so many things happening. As I said I had an instant connection to Willa so I found myself cheering her on along the way. I really enjoyed this story. I have just recently discovered my love of historical romance and Diana Quincy is another one of my new favorite authors. She writes a wonderful historical romance that certainly has a way of keeping my attention. This is part of the Accidental Peers series but you will have no problem reading it as a stand alone, if you haven't read the other two books in the series. However they are great as well so you might think about picking them up too. I can't wait to see what she may have in store for us lucky readers next. I know that I will certainly be looking forward to whatever she has out next. If you enjoy a historical romance with some drama, I think you will really enjoy this book. If you are already a fan of Diana Quincy then hurry grab up your copy so you may start reading right away. I was given the opportunity to read this book so that I may share my thoughts with you. As always it has been my great pleasure to share my thoughts with you on Compromising Willa.
When I started Compromising Willa I was a bit confused. A lot the confusion stem from me reading the first book, Seducing Charlotte. All right here's a spoiler if you haven't read Seducing Charlotte, Camryn ends up married to Charlotte in the end. So, I was going into the story thinking Camryn is married and come to find out he's not married yet. Which really bothered me, so I had to go back to the first book to see if Hartwell is married in that story. I come to find out he is. You have to look at this story as a prequel to the first book in a way if you had read Seducing Charlotte. If you haven't read seducing Seducing Charlotte yet, you might consider reading Compromising Willa first, so you don't get all confused like I was. Other than that I did enjoyed the story. I liked Willa and her passion to want to be more than what society dictates a woman should be. I also liked Hartwell even though he kind of listened to the gossip behind Willa. Yes, he tried to move pass his issues, but it kind of spilled over into their relationship. However, I did like how Hartwell realize he couldn't keep Willa in a gilded cage and was willing to give her freedom. Now Bellingham was the a blackguard. He didn't some pretty horrible things and they could have been played a little more. However, his character did contribute the trouble Willa and Hartwell faced. I did like how they handle him in the end even though it felt a bit rush. Overall, not a bad read once I got past my confusion at the beginning. I guess this was a way to see how Hartwell became the Duke and ended up with Willa. I did like how Willa challenge Hartwell and I like how Hartwell was willing to let Willa be herself. So, this story can be read as a stand-alone, because of where it takes place in the story. Basically, if you haven't read any of the previous Accidental Peers you might considering this Compromising Willa first and you might enjoy Camryn fall more. Copy provided by publisher
ARC received for an honest opinion I really enjoyed the heroine and hero in Compromising Willa, although I never read anything by Diana Quincy, I was pleasantly surprised. Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope has survived a tarnished reputation. She was caught in an inn with August Manning, the Earl of Bellingham. Willa was young and believed to be in love. August set Willa up so no one would ever ask for her hand in marriage. Four years later Willa is slowly coming back into society, although she has no hope of getting married. Some of the characteristics that I loved about Willa were her pride and her confidence. She was definitely a strong heroine. Although most heroines, at least in the books I read, keep saying that they don’t want to be married, they generally do. Willa was an exception. After she and her family suffered from the scandal created by August all she wanted was freedom. She wanted to be her own person and not someone’s wife or a prisoner to society. Another aspect of Willa that I loved was she was not easily swayed but neither August Manning, nor our hero, the Duke of Hartwell. She is suspicious of their motives and realizes that they both see her as a prize; dating from a rivalry that started when they were in school. Willa, despite trying to be trapped into marriage by both suitors, refuses to be tied down. Hartwell was a great hero. His temper tantrums were sometimes too much but he had many redeeming qualities. First, because he was a second son he was very industrious and traveled to India. He made his own wealth and therefore didn’t suffer from the stuffiness of the upper-class. I loved how strongly he felt for Willa but his jealousy was sometimes misplaced. He tried to make Willa happy any way he could and he was a genuinely good guy. Together, Willa and Hart were great. They had great chemistry and were both worthy opponents. My only complaints were the pacing of the story. It seemed that nothing really happened during the first half of the story and then everything happened towards the end. The “big secret” that Hart discovers came as complete surprise. The author led us to believe one thing all throughout until the end. I loved that even though they were married they still had to work through their insecurities and trust issues. Hartwell was full of surprises and he swept Willa off her feet, which she rightly deserved. It was also gratifying to see that August Manning got what he deserved. This was a great read full of interesting characters.
Oh, Willa. Hart. You guys rock so hard. Seriously. Now, before this gets awkward (too late?) let me just say COMPROMISING WILLA was one of those books that grabbed me from page one. And before I caught my breath, Ms. Quincy threw in a slight twist that told me I was in for one heck of a ride. She didn’t disappoint. COMPROMISING WILLA is not just beautifully written, but smart and dimensional. Willa is splendidly quick with her tongue, leading to positively delicious banter between her and the yummy Duke of Hartwell, whose absence has kept him free of the gossip that has irreparably damaged Willa’s, erm, marketability. Ruined woman? Pshaw! Okay, so maybe by society’s standards, but fortunately Hart doesn’t quite see it that way. The tension between Willa and Hart is smokin’ hot, and the author is a master of infusing that smexiness into every exchange. Somehow these two buck tradition while remaining true to the period, leading to a delightfully fresh story that positively immerses the reader in 1805 England. There’s very little about the plot that could be marked as predictable, and as intricate as some of the pieces, they all came together perfectly at the end. (I’m looking at you, Augustus. Dude was PWNED!) If you love historical romance, grab this one. If you don’t, grab this one anyway. You will fall in love! *Review copy provided by author*
Book Three in the Accidental Peer series centers on the budding romance between Lad Wilhelmina "Willa" Stanhope and Grey Preston, Duke of Hartwell. Willa's reputation has been ruined, leaving her no choice but to wait for a suitor who's likely never to come and resign herself to her looming spinsterhood. To distract herself from her less-than-perfect future, Willa blends tea that she supplies to a coffee house which employs less fortunate women, but even this past time must remain secret, as engaging in trade is not considered to be proper. Somehow, amidst all the scandal, Willa attracts the affections of the new Duke of Hartwell. However, despite the growing attraction between the two, their romance is hampered by the evil Earl of Bellingham, who refuses to allow Willa to be claimed by anyone but himself. This romance was definitely a page turner! There was never any question that Willa would end up with the duke, who is usually referred to simply as Hart, but Quincy still managed to keep me wondering about how everything could possibly fall into place. Willa was the perfect historical romance heroine. She's smart and longs for independence. She doesn't recognize her own beauty. She's been ruined by means of a misunderstanding and although her situation demands that she be rescued, she refuses to take the easy way out. She reminds me of several other romantic heroines that I've read about, but I like her so much that I didn't mind. Fittingly, Hart is the perfect love interest for Willa. He's gallant yet imperfect but at the end of the day, he's exactly what Willa needs and her interests are at the center of his heart. He makes mistakes but always earns Willa's forgiveness, and his obvious love for Willa endeared him to me. And Bellingham, the evil earl, is a villain that I loved to hate. He was SO bad!! I loved the way that Quincy introduced him to us - at the start of the book, he appears to be the love interest, but soon we learn of the absolute dread that Willa feels whenever she sees him. And when we learn why she hates him so much, we come to hate him, too. Without giving away any details, I'm happy to assure you that he meets a most satisfying end. The plot centered entirely around the romance between Hart and Willa. Personally, I prefer romances with a bit more depth to their conflict, but Entangled Publishing requires authors in their Scandalous imprint to focus on the process of falling in love, so Quincy really can't be faulted for following their instructions. Because it was required of her, I didn't decrease my rating of the book because of the lack of a greater conflict, but I think it's worth noting that I personally would prefer some focus other than the relationship between Willa and Hart. That being said, there were definitely a lot of complications in Willa and Hart's relationship and this added to the plot development. Quincy revealed their secrets to the reader without info dumping, which is ALWAYS very much appreciated! As the imprint category suggests, this book was full of scandal. Willa herself suffers from the impact of the scandal in her life and this has a huge impact on the plot of the book. But additionally, some of the scenes between Willa and Hart get quite steamy! If you're interested in that, you'll probably enjoy this book. Overall, this book was enjoyable to read and it was a great way to unwind from finals week. I would definitely recommend it to any historical romance fans. Although this is the third book in the Accidental Peers series, you do not need to read the preceding books in order to follow the story line - I didn't read them and I understood the story just fine. However, after reading this, I do intend to go back and read the first two as well as the fourth once it's published. I'll definitely be looking for more from Diana Quincy in the future! :) Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from Entangled Publishing, but in no way did this influence my review.
I love Ms. Quincy's books. She has quickly become one of my must read authors. Why? Her brilliant dialogue which was there in Compromising Willa. Conversations between Willa and Hartwell had me smiling which is important to me when reading a regency. Her dimension in characters made me feel for Hartwell while he was messing things up. Willa's tea skills and strong personality make her an enjoyable character. I think she is my favorite heroine of Ms. Quincy's.
Lady Willa has been thoroughly compromised - more than she even realizes. When she returns to the ton and a new season she puts on an icy facade and tries to enjoy the company of her friends. The Duke of Hartwell has been in India, and is unaway of Willa's compromised status. He is instantly fascinated by her intelligence and beauty and set to win her heart. Compromising Willa had a fantastic storyline, and Willa was an amazingly dynamic character - able to roll with the punches and keep her wits about her. The beginning of the story was a little slow though. There was a lot of throwing the word "blackguard" around - I know this was a major part of the times, but it was just overdone. About half way through the story, things become a little more clear and the pace really picks up. It has a lot of very nice twists and side stories.
I enjoyed reading this book. It kept my interest, and I couldn't stop reading until I finished the book.
Compromising Willa is a wonderful treat for those who like historical romances – the dashing, gorgeous hero has to win the heart of his clever, sexy heroine and defeat the plans of the dastardly villain. It’s deliciously fun, with a clever narrative and engaging characters, and I’m definitely looking forward to more. - Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress or BookTrib's website.
Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope is determined not to marry. She wants to be independent not under the thumb of a man who will break her spirit. With her reputation in tatters it seems that the lady will get her wish. Now her former suitor, Augustus Manning, wants her as does the Duke of Hartwell. Willa is attracted to Hartwell. He is an intelligent man with enlightened views on woman and society. Will these two find a HEA or will Augustus destroy Willa? Diana Quincy has written a story filled with a wildly passionate romance. Willa is a strong and intelligent woman who wants to help woman who are alone and abandoned. I enjoyed her spirit and desire to contribute to society. Her interaction with the Duke of Hartwell took my breath away. Hart is a magnificent hero. He supports the woman he loves without a second thought. I love this couple. I musts say that it gave me great pleasure to see Augustus bested. He was evil personified. I really enjoyed Compromising Willa. It's a definite keeper.
A lovely historical romance, Compromising Willa was another wonderful book in the fantastic Accidental Peers series. I absolutely loved this book! Willa was a great heroine. She was strong and wanted nothing more than to be independent. Even with her psycho ex-fiance's manipulations, she refused to back down. I thought she was a wonderful character. Hart was also wonderful. He was a sweetheart. He couldn't care less what happened in Willa's past. He just wanted her. And, he always wanted what was best for her, even if it was away from him. He was perfect and I adored him. The romance was lovely. Willa and Hart were sweet together, especially with the way Hart was entirely devoted to Willa's happiness. The chemistry between them was steamy and there were certainly some hot moments. My one complaint about the romance, though, was that they really needed to learn how to communicate correctly. There were a lot of miscommunications that led to some issues, which could have been resolved had they been straight with each other in the first place. But, it was a fairly minor problem, and I still thought these two were a perfect couple. Augustus, the Earl, was Willa's ex-fiance. He was a...hmmm...interesting character. And by that I mean I hated his guts, but in a good way. He was perfectly hateful, especially when we find out the extent of his past, and he added an interesting dimension to the book. The plot was fast paced. I was hooked the entire way through. I really enjoyed the story and I thought the ending was lovely. The Accidental Peers series is absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to read more from it. Compromising Willa was a wonderful historical romance. I absolutely loved this book! Lovers of romance, you have to read this book. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Charming and Interesting novel! 4.5 stars I just finished reading Compromising Willa by Diana Quincy of her Accidental Peers series. It's the first book that I read written by her and I found it a delightful romance! Here is the story Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope and the Duke of Hartwell, two independent and headstrong characters, who learn the art of compromise. Her heroine Willa an intelligent woman who clearly knows what she wants until she meets Hart. As soon as he meets her, it is fatal attraction; he really needs her as a wife. What does Willa want? Let's just say, their relationship is complicated. Will trust and love be part of their lives? Will this independent woman and demanding man, get a chance at love? It's well written, fast paced and an interesting historical fiction filled with scandal, treason and schemes. If you love a story set in the Regency era, then I recommend it, Compromising Willa will be perfect for you!