on September 6th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
The Spare Heirs Society Cordially Invites You to Meet Ash Claughbane: The Imposter
Lady Evangeline Green is living a lie. To please her family, she masquerades as the perfect debutant...until she meets the wickedly charming Lord Crosby. With him, there are no rules. She's finally free to do as she desires—but freedom comes with a price, and Lord Crosby is not what he seems...
Ash is not Lord Crosby. He's a con artist, a noble Spare Heir living off his silver tongue. When the Green family ruined his, he swore he'd make them pay, and he never doubted his devotion to revenge...until he met Evangeline. Now, caught in a web of lies, torn between duty and desire, what's a con to do but deceive all of London and steal the one lady who dared match wits with the devil himself?
¬¬Reviewed by Amy¬¬
Lady Evangeline Green is a shining example of a lady. Proper, perfectly behaved and adorned, she always follows society’s rules impeccably. The only problem is the lady she presents to the world is just her mother’s creation and not who she truly is. But then she meets Lord Crosby- a wicked gentleman in all the ways that matter. For him, rules are malleable things meant to be bent and twisted. He tempts Evangeline to risk being her true self, but apparently Lord Crosby isn’t being his true self either.
Ashley Claughbane, aka Lord Crosby, is a liar, seducer, and thief- selling schemes and potions, and honing his skills of persuasion. He’s spent years moving from one town to the next fleecing people with his charm. In his line of work, one has to keep moving, all with one final con in mind. Seven years ago,when the patriarch of the Green family took everything his family had, Ash swore revenge. Now is the moment he’s been working toward for years. Then he meets Green’s daughter, Evangeline. With her, this is the first time Ash ever thought of leaving as a chore and not a pleasure.
There’s something so exciting about an opposites attract love story. Whether it’s the build up of sexual tension through clever dialogue, or the balance each person brings to the other, it’s wonderful to watch two very different people realize they were made for each other. Ash and Evie started out as polar opposites, but by the end of the story it was obvious they were perfect for one another.
Ash was the perfect con artist- good at risk taking, rule breaking, and thinking on his feet. He was cool as a cucumber and smooth at social interactions. When he met Evangeline, he knew he could use her to help with his scheme. After all, that was his normal course of action. He thought he could distract Evie long enough to reach his goal but he ended up being the one off balance when he was near her. “Evie wasn’t like every other woman in every other town. She was special. Any thrill he gained from his life as a con man paled in comparison to how he felt when with her.”
Evangeline had spent her life living a lie. Since her “mad summer” at age 12, she’d learned to follow her mother’s command. She spent her days reviewing proper conduct. Her mother, a grasping lady out for her own gain, reminded Evie repeatedly of what a disappointment she was, and relentlessly tutored Evie in how to be a lady. Evie only spoke of the weather and fashion, and wore what her mother deemed appropriate. She knew the allotted number of smiles and brief touches to bestow upon her suitors. But with Ash there were no controlled smiles or touches, just raw emotion. He made her dare to live.
Watching these two characters come together was a delight. For Ash, relationships became complicated and he didn’t need anyone. Love meant staying and he couldn’t stay if he carried out his plans for revenge. As his friend St. James told him, “You know they’re called tragedies for a reason- you’ve fallen for your enemy’s daughter like the plot of some romance novel”.
Evie knew she was more than the image her mother created. Ash saw more in her and helped her to see it as well. Ash caused her to act impulsively. With him, she could do what she pleased instead of what she must do. With Ash beside her, she felt brave enough to discover more of who she truly was and who she wanted to be. She liked breaking her mother’s rules with him. “Evie knew the situation, that Ash couldn’t stay, but she also knew the truth of her heart.”
The dance between these two on their way to finding happiness was thrilling. Who knew discussions about the weather could be so titillating! Not only did I thrill at watching the relationship unfold, but I enjoyed the individual changes in the characters as well as they realized what they truly wanted from life.
I had previously read another series from Elizabeth Michels and loved it so I was excited to read this story. This is the second in the Spare Heirs series. I can’t wait to read more. I’m anxious to see what’s in store for the other “spare heirs” and Evie’s adorable cousins.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.