Praise for The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne:
"[The characters] banter and quibble with comic perfection."—Publishers Weekly
"Wickedly funny, fast and sassy romance."—RT Book Reviews
She Designs Dresses for London's Leading Ladies
Molly Robbins is finally stepping into the spotlight. Her unique dress designs have caught the eye of London's elite. And if it means her own dress shop, proper Molly will make a deal with the devil himself—the notoriously naughty Earl of Everscham. But becoming his mistress is not a part of their arrangement. It's right there in the contract's fine print: No Tomfoolery.
He's an Expert at Taking Them Off
Carver Danforthe has a reputation for beautiful mistresses, cutting remarks, and shirking his responsibilities—not for indulging the ambitions of his sister's maid. He must have been drunk when he signed that blasted contract. The stubborn female may thing she's gotten the best of him, but what this situation calls for is a little hands-on negotiating...
All's Fair in Love and Fashion
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She was a selfish, unfeeling, unfaithful young woman, and she wouldn't be at all surprised if she met her demise in some horrid, bloody end. Certain folk familiar with her story would say she had received entirely what she deserved.
At the rate these carriage wheels spun, they wouldn't have long to wait for the satisfaction, either.
"Moll Robbins?" they would exclaim. "Isn't she the one who jilted that poor, honest lad at the altar and ran off to gamble her life on a rake's offer?" Her fate would become a cautionary tale for young women all over the country.
Molly felt sick. Oh, what was she thinking to disappoint everyone like this? Rafe Hartley would never forgive her for calling off the wedding at the last minute. He was a most affable young fellow until he thought he'd been wronged, and then he could hold a grudge the way a farmyard mutt guarded a bone. Now she'd left him in the care of her best friend, Lady Mercy Danforthe, while she, a woman who had spent most of her life in service to others, suddenly decided to do something new. Something unexpected.
Alone in a jostling carriage, hurtling along at runaway speed-a fitting adjective, she mused-Molly would have two entire days to consider what she'd done, and where, exactly, she was likely to end up.
Carted off to the devil in a wheelbarrow, her mother would have said.
Chaos was an unfamiliar element in the life of Molly Robbins, lady's maid. She'd always expected that her epitaph, when she finally went tranquilly to her maker, would read simply, "She caused very little harm." That, indeed, was her plan for the first twenty years or so of her life, but there remained the lingering problem of an imagination that sometimes led her mind off on a meandering path. As a child, she'd been known to go missing for hours, often to be found much later lying on her back in the meadow, counting all the colors she could find in the clouds above.
"For pity's sake, dozy child," her ma would say, impatient and cross. "Clouds are white, and that's all there is to it."
But Molly saw more than white. Not wanting to dismay her mother, she learned to keep that to herself.
Today, outside the carriage window, the clouds were mottled with gray, yellow, pink, and mauve. Occasionally they were heavy with a storm brewing and hung low over the spring-blossoming trees, but if rain fell, she did not hear it. Perhaps the carriage was going too fast, outpacing the raindrops. She slid about, bouncing every so often like a rubber ball, not having enough heft to keep contact with the seat.
And with every bone-shaking jolt, she heard the question again, running through her mind.
Margaret "Molly" Robbins, what have you done?
As one of eleven children born to poor but hardworking parents and a mother who never suffered fools gladly, she'd discovered, early in life, that drawing less attention to oneself was often the best course of action. With her mother's stout and sensible opinions to guide her in those early years, Molly formed the belief that mayhem happened to other people when they daydreamed, drank too much Madeira, or loosened their stays. It was their own fault for not having any self-control. Inhibitions and bosoms, as she witnessed during her time in London as a lady's maid, seldom did credit to their owners when allowed to wander freely. As an adult, strictly holding her own occasional yearning for mischief in check, she maintained moderate enjoyment in the rare glass of fortifying wine, kept prudent guard over her body parts, and never imagined finding herself suddenly at the center of pandemonium.
In a slightly dazed state, tossed from left to right as that recklessly driven carriage raced along narrow, uneven country lanes, Molly glanced down at herself and slowly realized she still wore her wedding gown. Such a sad garment it seemed. Impractical, purely decorative, a needless extravagance so her mother would say, if she were there to see it. Perhaps it was a good thing she was not, thought Molly. Fashion was not something her poor mother had known anything about, and Molly became aware of it herself only when befriended by Lady Mercy Danforthe, who taught her that wealthy people of Society, unlike the villagers of Sydney Dovedale, did not dress themselves merely to stay warm and give the appearance of decency.
Thank goodness Lady Mercy had the foresight to pack her off with a trunk of clothes when she left the village in shameful haste. But then Lady Mercy was always sensible, always practical. In a state of emergency, she was the very best sort of no-nonsense person to have around.
It was a dozen years since Lady Mercy plucked "thin and plain" Molly Robbins up out of that little country village and whisked her off to London as her maid and companion. That was when Molly discovered how her speedy skill with a needle could be combined with her previously curbed creativity. And when those ideas were finally given rein to leap and stretch their legs inside her, the ambition for more in her life-for change-became a voice that refused to be stifled.
"Moll, my girl," her ma used to say, "you've got the neatest, fastest sewing fingers the Good Lord ever gave out."
But her prudent mother never meant for Molly to use those fingers for anything other than practical garments. Nan Robbins would not comprehend the extent of her daughter's secret, thrusting ambition to design elegant clothes for ladies of the ton, any more than she understood that clouds could be anything beyond white. But Nan Robbins had died in poverty, having devoted her life to eleven children, many of whom drove her to distraction and probably contributed to the illness that put her in her grave at the age of six and thirty. Molly did not want that for herself. She felt wicked and ungrateful and an unloving daughter to think that way, but it didn't stop her from wanting something different.
"You're a rotten, selfish girl, Robbins," Molly chided, staring at herself in the carriage window.
Despite tears, the face looking back at her was shockingly defiant.
"Don't you care?" she demanded breathlessly. "Are you, after all, such a heartless wench that you let Rafe and many good people down, just to run off and chase a foolish dream? What has got into you?"
Two brown eyes stared back at her, unflinching but wet. The tight lips gave no reply. Perhaps it was not "what" had got into her, but "who."
Who else but Carver Danforthe, the Earl of Everscham, scoundrel of the first order? A seducer, reckless and unbound by any form of self-control.
"I can set you up in that little dressmaking business, Robbins. All you need do is ask," he'd said to her only a few days ago, before she had left London for her wedding in Sydney Dovedale.
Thus the devil threw down that temptation before her like a gauntlet.
How had he known of the ambition she nursed in her heart? She didn't think he ever really paid attention to anyone's desires but his own.
The carriage wheels bumped over a hard rut, and Molly grabbed the leather strap above the door to prevent herself from being tossed out through the carriage window. Clearly the driver had forgotten he had a passenger.
Suddenly she thought of the very first time she rode in a grand carriage like this one, the very first time she left the village of Sydney Dovedale. Back then, at thirteen years of age, she'd had doubts about her decision too, just as she did now. But twelve years ago on that journey, she had Lady Mercy Danforthe chattering away beside her on the plush velvet seat, and the little madam would not have been at all pleased if her new lady's maid suddenly expressed a desire to go home again. The copper-headed, bossy girl was a few years younger than Molly but much older in some ways and always in the right. At least, in her own mind.
"I'm very advanced for my age," had been the diminutive lady's first proud words to Molly, followed by, "You're very thin and plain. You should eat more cake, curl your hair, and never wear brown. People with brown eyes, like yours, should wear bright blues and greens. And don't stoop. You look almost ashamed of yourself just for standing there. At least you have good teeth and elegant hands. You're not completely a lost cause."
Molly had never met anyone quite so self-assured, colorful, and unstoppable. She could not help but admire the bold little girl and wish some of that brazen confidence was her own.
She smiled as the memory came back to her of that first strange journey to London. How young she had been, and how brave she had tried to look. The opinionated young Lady Mercy was not her only companion on that ride to London twelve years ago, for they shared the carriage with Mercy's brother.
Having put aside his usual entertainments to chase his sister into the country and bring her home again, Carver Danforthe, the Earl of Everscham, had not been in the best of moods. Sprawled in his seat, head back as far as it would go, he'd closed his stormy gray eyes and snored rudely, one foot propped up on the seat between the other two passengers. He had long legs, as young Molly had already observed, and no wonder he liked to stretch out on a journey of some distance, but he might at least have apologized for setting his heel down on part of her coat. Even if her coat was shabby and much mended, it did not deserve to be marked by his muddy boot. And even if he was a peer of the realm and terrifyingly beautiful, like a drawing she saw once of a sleek black panther stalking its prey, that gave him no license, in her opinion, for inconsiderate, surly behavior.
The carriage tilted sharply as they rounded a curve at speed, and Molly was momentarily bounced out of her daydream. She glanced at the opposite seat where there was no Carver Danforthe today, but a hatbox and her shattered, wilted bridal bouquet of orange blossoms. For some reason she had not wanted to leave that behind, although it was a silly thing to bring with her and, in her agitation, she'd plucked most of the petals off it.
She turned her head to look out again at the scenery as it flew by in a sun-dappled, colorful print.
Twelve years ago, rattling along this same road, but under a star-peppered, ink-blot sky, she'd worn a tiny posy of pressed flowers pinned to the collar of her coat. Rafe Hartley had given it to her when they said their good-byes. She knew the boy was probably prompted into it by his aunt, but even so, it pleased her that he bothered. On her journey, she had brushed the posy with her fingertips, hoping to release some good luck into the air and boost her spirits.
Molly closed her eyes and sank into the memory again.
She pictured the Earl of Everscham as he was that night, all those years ago, seated across the carriage, letting out a loud snort, gusty enough to disturb a slightly curled lock of ebony hair fallen to his brow. At first glance his eyelids appeared shut, but there was a thin slit of silver between his black lashes, and Molly had suspected he slyly watched her with those scornful eyes. Rafe's aunt, Sophie, had whispered that eyes like those belonged on a circus wild cat-the sort that broke free of their trainer and terrorized the audience until it was recaptured, causing a lurid, illustrated tale in the newspaper the next day. Molly had never seen a wild cat or a circus, but was nevertheless obliged to agree, for she could tell, from the very beginning, that there was a bit of the bloodthirsty and untamable about Carver Danforthe. He wore only an outer shell of civilization the way his footmen-riding on the outside of the carriage-wore their livery. Good thing she was a country girl, grew up around beasts, and wasn't afraid of him.
With a quick tug, she'd tried to move her coat from beneath his muddied heel, but his foot was too heavy. If anything, it seemed as if he pressed his boot down even harder to keep her coat trapped.
Oh, why had she agreed to become Lady Mercy's maid and travel all the way to London in the company of that arrogant, uncivil young man?
For the wage, of course. That was the simple, practical answer. Then came the clothes, the fashion she had just begun to discover with the help of Lady Mercy's enthusiasm. Molly had never seen such luxurious garments as that girl wore, even when she went to bed. She was fascinated by the rich fabrics, the vibrant new dyes and printed patterns. In Sydney Dovedale, folk dressed according to their work and wore their best only on Sundays. But even their "best" was plain.
Molly opened her eyes and looked down at her wedding gown, the finest dress she'd ever owned. She ran her fingers over the soft silk where it rippled onto the seat by her thigh, and she pictured Carver Danforthe's boot heel resting there, as it once did, the heel marking the shabby old coat she wore at the time.
Whenever he moved his foot, it almost touched her leg, but if she spoke and asked him to move it, Molly knew the earl would continue feigning sleep. He did not think her worthy of his attention. She'd heard him warn his sister before they set off, "Don't think I'll have anything to do with this. The country wench is your pet. You can feed her and walk her and make sure she's trained to go outside. This is your project. When she chews up your laces and ribbons, don't come crying to me."
Molly had made several attempts to slide her coat free of the earl's foot, but in vain. She could have sworn she caught his lips turning up, an extra gleam shining under his lowered lashes. Quickly she had unpinned Rafe's posy from her collar. The earl had a small hole worn in the toe of his boot. It surprised her when she saw it, for the Danforthes were one of the richest families in England, and he could surely afford a new pair of boots for every day of the week if he wanted them.
She took the pin from her little posy, stuck it through that hole, and jabbed him in the toe.
With a yelp, he sat bolt upright and slammed his foot to the floor of the carriage. He had glared at her with all the wrath of the devil. "You just poked me with a pin."
Young Molly had stared back, unblinking.
"Don't be silly, Carver," Lady Mercy exclaimed with a yawn. "How tiresome you are."
"Me tiresome?" he snapped at his sister. "Perhaps you ought to give that tongue a rest. It's hardly stopped since I found you. And bear in mind, the next time you go running off on one of your adventures, don't expect me to come after you again." He folded his arms over his chest. "I shall leave you to your own damn devices."
"Don't say damn in front of Molly Robbins."
"I'll say what I like. This is my carriage, and I'm paying her wage."
His steel-blade eyes slashed back to Molly, but despite his haughty bluster, something in her countenance caused him to move his feet even farther away from her. It took all her willpower not to laugh at his red face. He was wide awake now for sure.
But in her eagerness to prick the young man's foot, Molly had accidentally dropped Rafe's gift, and it was immediately found by another.
"Oh look!" Lady Mercy had cried excitedly. "How pretty. I shall keep it as a souvenir of my country adventure." Never noticing the flowers pinned to Molly's collar earlier, she did not hesitate to claim the decoration for herself.
The carriage bumped and swerved, knocking Molly sideways in her seat, waking the runaway bride from her ponderings again. She gripped the leather strap tighter and stared across the carriage to where Carver Danforthe once sat and accused her of wounding him.
How long ago it was, yet she could see it all as if he was still there with her now.
The young earl had stretched his arms along the back of his seat and observed Molly in a cross and wary manner, as if she might stick that pin in him again, given half the chance.
What on earth would have made him think that?
When she caught her reflection this time in the window, she was smiling, so Molly slid back in the seat rather than witness her own irreverence for which there could be no excuse in light of the awfulness of her situation. She had given up a husband, a home, and a future family, and she was on her way to the devil in his own carriage.
Best stock up on pins.
What was that damnable scratching in the wainscoting?
Carver Danforthe paused, halfway down the stairs to the servants' hall, listening intently for those tiny sounds he could have sworn followed him all over his house. No. Quiet again now.
He stumbled down the remaining steps and looked about for signs of other life. Surely someone should be up, although he actually had no earthly idea what time it was. Usually whenever he came home very late-or very early, depending upon your point of view-he found at least one soul down here, pottering about in the scullery or the kitchen.
But as he stood at the foot of the stairs, looking around, he finally remembered that she was gone. Robbins, his sister's lady's maid, who was often the person he encountered down here so late-or early-had left his household to get married. Of all the bloody ridiculous things for her to do.
He stared at the empty chair by the long table, where he was accustomed to seeing her bent over a patch of mending or fighting with a stubborn stain on one of his sister's gowns. She would look up, put her work aside, and fetch him whatever he wanted. He wouldn't even have to tell her. There was no exchange of words. She just knew what he needed.
Funny, plain little girl. Or woman, as he supposed she was now. It was hard to recall how long she'd been a part of his household. Not exchanging words with him.
Suddenly a door opened, and the well-padded cook waddled in from the larder with a large ham on a tray. When she saw him, there she almost dropped her burden.
"My lord. I did not know you were-you should have rung the bell, sir, and someone would tend to you."
"Ah...yes." Should have rung the bell, numbskull. Larkin, his valet, or Richards, the butler, would have come in answer to it. "What time is it, Mrs. Jakes?"
"Why, 'tis just eleven, my lord." She gestured with a nod at the clock on the wall.
"In the morning?" He thought he'd better check. One could never be entirely sure, and he was still dressed in evening clothes.
The stout cook set her tray on the table and smiled indulgently. "Indeed it is, my lord."
Robbins wouldn't have smiled like that, he thought, staring again at her empty chair. She would have given him one of her looks that made him feel thirteen again, instead of three and thirty. Impertinent young woman, really. Jolly good thing she was gone. Her preposterous piety, communicated almost entirely with glances, chafed something chronic. No one other than his father had ever made him feel quite so inadequate. When Robbins made one of her disapproving faces, it read as if she, like his father, hoped to see someone else standing before her and, upon finding him there instead, could only give herself up to resigned disappointment.
"Did you require anything, my lord?" the cook asked.
Yes. But he could no longer remember what it was. Robbins probably would have known, he thought.
How dare she up and leave his household? He was accustomed to her being there. She might be a dreadful prig, but she was steady and dependable.
Odd how that happened-that she became a part of his life when she clearly did not want to be and he didn't want her there either.
The cook, he realized, was still waiting to know what he wanted. Hastily searching for an excuse to be below stairs, he finally muttered, "Have you seen any mice about, Mrs. Jakes?"
"Mice?" She paled, her round knuckles hastily gathering bundles of skirt, swiping it aside to check around her feet.
"I thought I heard...no matter. Carry on as you were. Excellent work, Mrs. Jakes." He turned and made his unsteady way back up to the main floor of the house.
Why had he gone down there? Well, if he should remember, he'd ring the bell. As Mrs. Jakes said, someone would tend to him. Didn't matter who it was. Even though one woman was gone, he still had a house full of good servants. He was-whether his father had thought he was the best man for the post or not-the Earl of Everscham. As such, he had everything he could ever want at his disposal. What did the absence of one woman matter?
Cherishing this thought the way a little boy clutches at marbles won against a bitter enemy, Carver Danforthe went to his chamber, dropped to his bed, and jerked the counterpane over his head. Shutting out the sunny April day, he dismissed likewise a fear of sly, swift, brown-eyed creatures hiding in his walls, disapproving of him with a twitch of their tiny pink noses.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jayne Fresina continues her Sydney Dovedale series, with her latest book, Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction. This a series featuring a Victorian era setting and some very unconventional heroines. Fans of Fresina will love her use of humor and applaud her research. As the roles of women were strictly defined in this time period Fresina's Miss Robbins is a breath of fresh air in a society that is not inclined to change. A great addition to this engaging series. What I liked: The Victorian area was a such a rigid time period for women. There were so many rules about what you could and couldn't do as a woman in the ton. I liked the fact that Fresina kind of turns that upside down with her lead characters in each of the books in this series. Molly was a dream of a heroine. She was plucky and inventive and she knew what she wanted out of life. She is expected to marry a very well to do farmer, but she leaves him at the alter and follows her dreams of having her own dress shop and designing for the women of the ton. Unfortunately, at that time in history she couldn't do it on her own. She had to have help from a wealthy backer. I loved the fact that Molly was determined to make her idea a success. Fresina makes Molly a very free thinker. She gives her the guts to go to the Earl and ask for his financial backing. And that's how it all begins. Fresina does a great job with this character who is a little bit before her time. But there had to be a first didn't there? Carver was not exactly an original in his own right. Many historical romances feature a Duke or an Earl that is a bit of a scoundrel and Carver certainly fits the description. He is a womanizer but he is very charitable. He has a heart of gold, he just doesn't want to give it to only one woman. Until he realizes that his drunken business deal with Molly may have been his undoing in more than one way. I loved the fact that though he is a rake of the first rate, he still honors his obligations and his business dealings. He might have liked to dabble with women but he was still a good person underneath. Fresina writes a character that readers want to read about. He is infectious. One of the things that I found most enjoyable about this book was the idea that Molly could see the kind of man that Carver could be, if he only wanted to. She made him want to be a better man and that was such a perfect theme to this book. Not only does Molly want to better herself, but she sees the good in Carver as well. That's how romance should be. You should reflect the good qualities in each other and I think Fresina was really able to bring that across to the reader. What I didn't like: This book had a very fast pace. I think I would have preferred to have a few moments to catch my breath here and there. Molly is head strong and fast moving and her life is as well. It just seemed it ended all too quickly. I suppose that means it was a very good book! Bottom Line: I liked this one a lot. I may have been my favorite of the series, so far. Molly was a fantastic character and I liked the hero a lot too. I love the titles for these books and Fresina's use of humor is always fun.
This was a great book.
Until this book, I had never read anything by Jayne Fresina, but this was a great introduction, and I look forward to reading many more, and have already checked out her back list – adding Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal as one of my next-to-read books. Carver and Molly are clearly drawn to each other and seeing them grow more confident in themselves, and their relationship is a special journey, and I thoroughly enjoyed their story. With lines like, “The burden of carrying that halo around must make her head hurt,” I found myself laughing out loud to the thoughts of each of the main characters as they try to figure out just what they have gotten themselves into. We see the characters develop into who they want to be, not who they are expected to be, and it is very satisfying to see how they create their own happy ending.
4 out of 5 for this reader folks! Miss Molly Robbins Designs a Seduction by Jayne Fresina is the fourth book of her Sydney Dovedale series. I was eager for this story as there were a few teasers in previous books and the pairing of our hero and heroine was a little unusual. Well I am happy to say that Jayne Fresina delivered. We met Carver Danforthe, Earl of Everscham in previous novels. He is the older brother if Mercy Danforthe (she was the heroine of the previous novel), a notorious rake who recently was appointed his title and quite frankly does not care for the responsibility that comes with it. He does however enjoy the perks .... money, woman and living his life as he pleases. Miss Molly Robbins was a lady's maid to his sister Mercy. She is a dull creature, dressed in drab and from a small town called Sydney Dovedale. When Carver had to retrieve his young sister after she ran away many years ago, she only came back on the condition that Molly join her. Right from the start Molly stirred something in Carver .. annoyance yet curiosity. As time passes Carver has gotten use to this maturing woman living in his home and when it is time for her to leave to marry, he is surprised about his negative reaction. Mercy rescues Molly from her marriage and insists she returns to London from Sydney Dovedale to pursue a career as a shop owner and seamstress. When Molly confronts Carver about his offer to set her up financially, little does she know she is opening a romantic can of worms that would be considered quite improper for an Earl and a country lady. As Molly is no longer a servant, she begins to let her hair down and speak her mind, much to the surprise (be it both pleasant and unpleasant) of Carver. Where did this woman come from .. has she always been in there, and why is he feeling the need to sweep her up and call her his? I adore this series. It isn't fast paced by any means, but the relationships between our characters are certainly complex yet complimentary in their own way. I loved reading about Carver being put in his place and called out on his rakish ways. I also enjoyed reading about Carver teaching Molly how to have some fun in life! These two offered many chuckles and ultimately a true romantic story! A sigh worthy historical romance for sure! HAPPY READING! :)
surprisingly better than the other stories within this series.
I was looking forward to this book because Molly and Carver are such different people. Molly is the youngest of the 12 kids in her family. She comes from a poor family but she has always been a dreamer. She thought that more colors are in a cloud not just white. Her mom told her to stop dreaming. Carver was the 2nd son but his brother die before he was born but he was always an afterthought to his parents. Since his parents didn't expect anything from him or his life, he lived that way. He was lazy and let she sister run his life and house. Carver shows the world want they want to see. Molly became his sister, Lady Mercy, lady's maid but she was really her friend. Carver and Molly lived together for 12 years but were always maid and master. When Molly doesn't get married, she returns to London to open a dress shop. Who better to help with a loan but Carver. Carver starts to help Molly in anyway he can just to see her. He craves her and he doesn't know why. Molly does not want to be just another mistress to him. What starts as a chase ends in unexpected love. They both learn many things about themselves that they didn't know. Opposite attract in this sweet story. I didn't enjoy this story as much as I hoped I would. I give this book 3 fingers up and 6 toes.
MISS MOLLY ROBBINS DESIGNS A SEDUCTION by Jayne Fresina is a witty Victorian Historical Romance set in 1835 England. #4 in the "Sidney Dovedale" series, but can be read as a stand alone. Meet Carver Danforthe, Earl of Everscham and Molly Robbins, his sister's maid who wishes to designs dresses. Filled with witty banter, passion, dress designs, a bit of romance and love. Carver is a charmer to say the least. Molly will do anything to open her own dress shop, but is she willing to become Carver's mistress? And then Molly designs a seduction. A lighthearted, fun romp in England. Ms. Fresina draws the readers into her fun, entertaining story with her engaging characters and their ideas of love, and fashion. A sassy, sweet, witty tale of seduction and love. A wonderful read that is fast paced as well as entertaining. Received for an honest review from the publisher and Net Galley. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
This is book 4 in the Sydney Dovedale Series. Miss Molly Robbins has just walked away from her own wedding to start her dress shop in London. She has sent all her money home to her family while she was a lady's maid to Lady Mercy Danforthe (from Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal, book #3), so Molly goes to her former employer, Carver Danforthe, Earl of Eversham, to get a loan. Having been woken up at an ungodly early hour, Carver agrees to Molly's proposition even with her clause of "No Tomfoolery." As time progresses, Carver would like to add an addendum to the contact. Will Molly accept their new agreement? When I saw that this book was part of a series, I had to go and read the earlier books before starting this one. Book one, The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine, was a hard one to get into. The wording of it was just off and hard to understand. I looked at the author's website and saw that she was British and I wondered if that was the reason. About midway through it, I was finally sucked in. The characters had laugh out loud dialogue and continuing antics. Book two, The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne, features Ellie Vyne (best friend of Sophie) and James Hartley (Sophie's jilted lover). I loved the two of them in the first book and grew to love them even more in their own story. Book three, Lady Mercy Danforthe Flirts with Scandal, shows us the grown-up up Mercy (who we met in Ellie's book) and Rafe Hartley (who was introduced in Sophie's book). This brings us up to this story. After meeting Molly as a young girl, I was intrigued to see how her story would turn out. After living with Mercy for so long, Molly is ready to spread her wings and make something of herself. She just needs a little help. We met Danforthe in book 2 and have gotten a certain impression about him (a rogue and a person that doesn't really care for others). Little did we all know, but Danforthe has been helping needy people his whole adult life. He is happy to help out Molly, but doesn't realize what he is in for. I really hope that the author is not done with this series. This last novel introduced us to a whole new crop of possible characters to write about. I can't wait to see who she chooses next. Thanks go to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.