…a sparkling [love story]…Diana is a refreshingly adult and self-aware heroine in a genre full of sheltered ingénues, and her romance with North doesn't negate their friendship but builds on its solid foundation.
The handsome, rakish heir to a dukedom, Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde—known to his friends as North—left England two years ago, after being jilted by Miss Diana Belgrave. He returns from war to find that he’s notorious: polite society has ruled him “too wild to wed.”
Diana never meant to tarnish North’s reputation, or his heart, but in her rush to save a helpless child, there was no time to consider the consequences of working as a governess in Lindow Castle. Now everyone has drawn the worst conclusions about the child’s father, and Diana is left with bittersweet regret.
When North makes it clear that he still wants her for his own, scandal or no, Diana has to fight to keep from losing her heart to the man whom she still has no intention of marrying.
Yet North is returning a hardened warrior—and this is one battle he’s determined to win.
He wants Diana, and he’ll risk everything to call her his own.
James’s third Wildes of Lindow Castle Regency (after Wilde in Love) is a charming, if uneven, tale of second chances. Diana Belgrave fled her own engagement party, jilting Lord Roland Northbridge “North” Wilde. Two years later, North returns home, tortured by his memories of service in the American Revolution, to find Diana working as a governess to his sister and a boy whom everyone believes to be North and Diana’s son. Without their fine clothing and courting rituals, North and Diana confront each other honestly and realize the spark between them is very real. But Diana is determined to live on her own terms, and she refuses to break North’s heart twice. The open dialogue between these protagonists is refreshing and frequently leads to touching revelations, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of insight into their individual emotional development. The sprightly humor and quirky supporting cast are entertaining, but the romance itself remains superficial to the end. Agent: Kimberly Witherspoon, InkWell Management. (May)
A jilted gentleman returns to England to find his former fiancee employed as a governess in his family's castle, with a baby everyone thinks is his.Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde left England two years ago, when his fiancee fled their engagement party and disappeared. The Duke of Lindow's heir, North bought a commission and left for the war in America. When he returns, he is stunned to find his ex, Miss Diana Belgrave, at work as a governess in Lindow Castle. Her charges include Godfrey, a toddler whom everyone believes belongs to North. North accepts Diana's explanation of Godfrey's true parentage and her sincere apology for all that has occurred. In fact, he finds he is still attracted to her, even more so now that the Georgian wigs and powder of a lady have been discarded to reveal a shock of red hair and a velvety laugh. Diana loves her work in the nursery, has no desire to be a lady, and that, it would seem, is that. But as North copes with the powerful wartime memories that disrupt his sleep, he finds himself spending quiet nights in the nursery with Diana, where they develop a lovely friendship over toast and honey. The first half of the novel is a delightful second-chance romance that captures the wonder of coming to know someone intimately, body and soul. Both characters suffer a bit in the second half, which shifts to recovering North's reputation. North's post-traumatic stress evaporates, and Diana takes rash actions that seem less and less in character. Extended sensual scenes disrupt coherent plotting. However, the pleasures of spending time with the large, loving, and very funny Wilde clan compensate to some extent.An uneven but ultimately rewarding second-chance romance.
Eloisa James has a talent for both characters and plot, which makes her novels a joy to read...Her research is flawless and subtle, and the storyline is both fun and thought-provoking. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys historical romance.
RITA Award–winner James again elevates historical romance to sublime new heights through the lithe elegance of her writing, her exceptional gift for creating richly nuanced characters, and her ability to flawlessly marry potent sensuality with a deliciously dry sense of humor.
Returning from fighting in the Colonies, Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde is shocked to find Diana Belgrave, the woman who jilted him several years ago, at his family estate serving as governess for his half-sister and a boy society thinks is his child. However, deeply affected by war and circumstance, North and Diana are not quite the same people they once were. Passion simmers between them as a hero who doesn't want to be a duke and a heroine who doesn't want to be a duchess struggle to mesh their feelings with their situations and finally discover the true meaning of love. VERDICT Exquisite character development, breathtaking sensuality, perfectly placed humor, and vivid descriptions of fashion, food, and assorted political detail and current events result in a rewarding romance that is emotionally complex and provides an exceptional sense of time and place. A heartwarming delight. James (Wilde in Love) lives in New York City. [A Spring Editor's Pick, LJ 2/1/18, p. 31.]