Published by Glass Half Full LLC on March 17th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Bluestocking Lady Elise Smith is a very content spinster. She holds intellectual gatherings and attends poetry readings, mind-improving lectures, and art shows. She runs her father’s household with quiet and determine efficiency, which is why she is absolutely stunned when Papa informs his three daughters that until Lady Elise is happily settled with—gasp—a husband, he will not consider offers for his two younger daughters.
Lord Simon St. George has happily watched one friend after another become leg-shackled, taking pride in the fact that his title is secured by a brother and nephew, so there is no reason to seek a wife for himself. When he sees a woman previously unknown to him at a ball, who seems to be hiding from the rest of the attendees, he is intrigued enough to introduce himself.
Simon sees a lovely, intelligent woman to pass the time with, Elise sees a man who can help her thwart her father by pretending they are courting. But even the best plans can go awry…
“I do not want a husband. Ever. From what I’ve seen, they direct their wives’ lives, still maintain their own freedom, and a woman must bear it all with a smile.”
“So I take it your plan is to confuse and cripple every dance partner you have so no one will offer for you?” He grinned, unable to help how easy it was to do so in her company.
She tapped her finger on her chin. “That would be a good idea, but no.” She glanced sideways at him, a devilish smile on her lovely face. “What I have decided is to spend my time at balls hiding behind potted plants, and taking a number of breaks in the ladies’ retiring room.”
“No. It won’t work.”
She eyed him with raised eyebrows. “Why not?”
He touched her cheek. So soft. “You are too beautiful to hide behind anything.”
Lady Elise stilled, and then a slight blush rose from her neckline to her hairline. Had no one ever told her of her arresting appeal? Did she not have a mirror in her bedchamber? No woman who looked like her could avoid men. In fact, were she to dress in ashes and sackcloth, he doubted she would go unnoticed.
“Thank you for your kind words, my lord. But that is still my plan.” She shrugged. “I have no other.”
“Please call me Simon. ‘Tis my given name and my friends use it.” He took her hand in his. “I hope we can be friends.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Only friends.”
Friends it would have to be. Although he’d felt a pull toward this woman from the time he’d first laid eyes on her, he also was not interested in marriage. One did not have any other type of relationship with a gently reared woman, except friendship. “Yes. Agreed. You see I have been dodging the marriage minded mamas of the ton for a few years, myself. I know how to hold their darling daughters at arm’s length. I could give you some tips, and be your cohort in crime, as it were.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Because I love a challenge, and keeping away the hordes of men who will descend upon you is a true test of my abilities.” He gave her wink.
Releases for Callie Hutton in 2017
Ms Hutton is giving away a signed copy of The Earl’s Return (USA) or an ebook to an international winner.
She is curious…
Why do you enjoy reading the romance genre?
~~Reviewed by Lisa~~
Forget marriage minded mommas…..we have the Earl of Pomeroy. His scheme is brilliant. He could give lessons to the mommas. He wants each of his three daughters to find the true love that he had with their dearly departed mother. He also wants to be out from under the mountain of bills for the girl’s fineries and fripperies. The scheme is simple; no offers will be accepted for the two younger girls until the oldest, and most stubborn, is married.
Lady Elise Smith is 23 and very happy with her life as a bluestocking. She holds intellectual salons and meetings in her father’s home, runs the house for him and enjoys an independence that she believes will disappear upon marrying. She is unaware of her beauty and appeal. While she is at home and confident in the intellectual world she has created, the social whirl that is a season confounds and confuses her, leaving her feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable. She has her own plans to circumvent her father’s scheme and sees Simon as her chance.
Lord Simon, Viscount St. George has long held to the idea that he is NOT interested in marriage and has been running from the mommas like a fox in the hunt. His reasons for avoiding marriage are personal and make sense. He is intrigued with Elise and sees in her the intelligence, wicked sense of humor and honesty that is so different from the usual debutante. He plans to help Elise avoid the men on the hunt and expects her to keep the mommas and their daughters away from him for the season. The façade that he has presented to the ton hides a high-brow underneath. He is drawn to the intellectual pursuits that Elise enjoys.
This is a wonderfully fun read with quick paced conversations, humor, characters you can love and cheer for and a hilarious game of Pall Mall that had me laughing so hard there were several snorts. Ms. Hutton creates worlds that you cannot help but become engrossed and immersed in. Often there are points in stories where the decision to admit their feeling drags out to the point you want to scream, COMMIT, but this had none of those spots; it flowed and Ms. Hutton held my interest and gave the characters just enough room to grow accustomed to the idea of love and marriage that was charming.
I am looking forward to the further creative sneakiness of the Earl of Pomeroy. We are left wondering about one of the sisters and I hope it is her story we read next. I love when a book leaves you anticipating another visit with the characters you have come to know and love.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.