Published by Amberjack Publishing on June 6th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Despite being beautiful and wealthy, Lady Susanna Macalister’s marriage prospects are rather lacking. To avoid a life of spinsterhood, she decides a loveless marriage to the dull and unromantic Lord Riverton is better than none at all. But still, Susanna longs for true, passionate love, the kind she grew up hearing stories about.
Enjoying a quiet walk with her insipid suitor one afternoon, Susanna is nearly trampled by the handsome Earl of Westcott as he rides through Hyde Park. Driven by his own guilt and despair, the earl embraces this chance encounter as an opportunity for vengeance, for Lord Riverton is the very man whom Wescott suspects is responsible for the untimely death of his beloved sister. But is his mission of separating Susanna from Lord Riverton simply a desire to save another unsuspecting lady from his sister’s fate, or something deeper?
As Susanna helps Lord Westcott investigate her future fiance, she realizes she might have found what she was looking for all along. Can the pair keep their budding romance a secret from everyone around them until the investigation is over? Or will the unsuspecting Lord Riverton win Susanna’s hand in marriage before the truth comes out?
She simply looked at him, her gaze taking in every inch of his face. After a long moment, she said, “You say you cannot offer me what I want, but how can you be certain of what I want? What if—for now—all I want is your friendship, and your companionship? What if all I want is you without promises of obligation?”
He shook his head. “That’s basically the opposite of what a lovely, young woman of marriageable age should want, Susanna.” She shrugged. “You’d be surprised to learn how progressive a marriageable-aged young woman I can be.” He chuckled. “What about Riverton?”
She shrugged again. “You said you wanted me as bait for something, which I assume is still current?”
He nodded, though it pained him to admit he needed her to continue her relationship with the viscount, even if it was just for show. “Then I shall continue on as before,” she concluded. “Though I have no intention of marrying him, even if your investigations turn up nothing.” “Please don’t hold out for me, darling,” he said softly, brushing a wisp of hair from her face. “You can’t put your life on hold me for me.” She shook her head. “Ian Carlisle, you absurd man, without you my life cannot go forward. I’m simply waiting for you to catch up.” There was no doubt; he was definitely in love with this woman.
Staring into her blue eyes, he could see the life he should have. A caring wife at his side, raising children in the country, fishing and horseback riding. Bringing up another Lord Westcott, doing it right this time, without all the mental baggage his father had dumped upon him. He himself sitting in Parliament, managing his family estates and living a life out of the shadows and schemes of the criminals of the world. Living life with the good and the wonderful away from the misery and the depravity.
It almost brought him to tears. For the first time since he ran away from home and joined the Army, he wanted more. He wanted more than his nomad existence, he wanted more than dipping into the immoral and illegalities, no more to bear witness to what the scums of humanity could do to one another.
“My darling, Susanna,” he said softly, trying to maintain his even tone, lest she see how broken he truly was—how her declaration had shaken him. “I do not deserve you.”
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~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
A Suitable Affair is a stand alone book by Erica Taylor. This is the author’s first book, which surprised me because it was really great. I thought it was by an author with many books to her credit!
Lady Susanna Macalister is a beautiful and wealthy woman. She’s getting to the age where she could be considered ‘on the shelf’ in the eyes of the ‘ton’ and although she likes her independence, and being able to concentrate on her charity work, she realises that if she’s going to marry, it should be soon. It is with that in mind that she is allowing Lord Riverton to court her. He’s not perfect, although he is good looking, Susanna can see herself married to him even if the marriage wouldn’t be one of undying love. She’s willing to settle, she is just waiting for Riverton to pop the question.
During a walk in the park where she believes Riverton will finally ask her to marry him, she is nearly run down by a man on a horse going way too fast. That man is Ian Carlisle, the Earl of Westcott. He pulls his horse to a stop and settles it down, and Susanna has her first meeting with Ian. She thinks him rude, and of course a dangerous rider, but silently she is intrigued by him and even though she is angry with him, she would like to see him again.
During the meeting it seems Ian takes a dislike immediately to Riverton, and Riverton acts strangely too, in fact he ends up leaving Susanna and her maid to walk home alone! What she doesn’t know is that Ian believes that Riverton is behind the kidnap and murder of his sister. He’s been trying to get proof of that, and other murders of young women, and he’s determined that Susanna won’t be his next victim. In fact, maybe she could help him catch Riverton out, at the same time he would promise to keep her safe.
The more time Ian and Susanna spend together the more they start to have feelings for each other, feelings that Ian tries to fight because he can’t offer marriage to her. He feels he doesn’t deserve happiness because he blames himself for his sister getting involved with Riverton. He had gone to fight in the war, rebelling against his father, and if he had been at home he is sure he could have kept his sister safe. He also has a job that means he is often called away for weeks at a time, even going abroad, he wouldn’t make a good husband.
Can Susanna make Ian realise that he is worthy of love and that he isn’t to blame for what happened. Can she help him capture Riverton without putting herself into too much danger. Will Ian be able to keep her safe?
This book was really great, it had the perfect amount of romance, and some really well written steamy scenes between our hero and heroine. The whodunit/mystery of the story kept me enthralled to the end, and oh wow, what a twist to that story. I definitely did not see that coming!!
The only negative I can mention is that I think the book needed another chapter, or an epilogue just to tie up loose ends. I don’t want to say what I would like to have seen because that gives away the ending, but suffice to say I just needed a little bit more.
On the whole, like I said at the beginning of my review, it is hard to believe this is the authors first published book. I really loved it, and am definitely going to read any other books that she writes!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.