This is a cute, entertaining Historical Fiction Romance set in 1825 England. Earl Hugh Standish has so far avoided his mother’s matchmaking schemes. For the last two years he invented a fiancée to keep his mother at bay – and in America. With his mother due back in England in the next few weeks to meet his bride-to-be, Hugh is about to be found out. Hugh doesn’t want to disappoint his mother, but more importantly, he doesn’t want to get caught in a lie. He just needs to get someone to impersonate his intended to satisfy his mother, and then she will sail back to America happy and Hugh will still be free. Maybe. If it works. Which is doubtful.
Minerva Merriwell has struggled the last five years to support herself and two younger sisters after their father abandoned them. With work scarce the sisters are penniless and about to lost their home. So when Hugh proposes she pose as his fiancée for his mother’s trip, she knows it sounds ridiculous, but the offered money is the answer to her prayers. All she needs to do is pretend for a week or so, and then she and her sisters will be on their merry way. Right? Of course not…
Once the group arrives at Hugh’s country estate, nothing goes to plan, which is not surprising. I love the chemistry between Hugh and Minerva. They are so cute and flirty their banter pops off the page. Hugh’s mother Olivia and her husband Jeremiah are also great characters and are a great foil to Hugh’s plans. The minor characters in the book are pretty one-dimensional, including the sisters, but there is enough background to set the girls up for their own books in the future. I look forward to reading those books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. All opinions are my own.