Published by Entangled: Select on January 30th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Jasper De Vere doesn't do sad. Ever since the death of his parents, he’s devoted himself to life’s many pleasures—while making sure to avoid attachments. It’s difficult to avoid your own grandfather though, especially when you’re the heir to his Dukedom. Unable to sit by and watch one of the few people he cares about wither away, Jasper flees to his friend Nicholas’s country estate.
Julia Bishop leads a life of glorious excitement—in her head. The spinal injury she was born with makes her a permanent pariah in society, so despite being the daughter of an earl, she's spent her life in the country with just her family to keep her company. When her brother-in-law’s flirtatious—and devilishly handsome—friend mistakes her for an untroubled debutante, Julia isn’t about to let an opportunity for some real, live adventure slip away.
Delicious distraction and flirtation turn into an all-out affair, and slips dangerously close to something more when family intrudes. Can Jasper and Julia return to their separate lives in isolation, or will they take a risk and choose each other?
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
I fell in love with Jasper and Julia in the first Tale of Two Sisters. I adored Julia and her sister Amelia’s relationship. They were both so impish and naughty. The kind of girls I’d want to be friends with. Jasper was such fun in the first book. Such a schemer and a flirt! I knew immediately that he and Julia would be the perfect match. And I knew their story would be so much fun to read. I just never imagined it would be so romantic and moving.
Jasper DeVere, Viscount Bellamy was known to be outrageous, exuberant, wild, and fearless. He didn’t feel like much of that now. After the death of his grandfather, Jasper was to be the new Duke of Albemarle. And that scared him to death. Still grieving for his grandfather, Jasper knew he could never fill the man’s shoes. It would be an insult to his grandfather’s legacy. He had no expertise to offer. He wasn’t qualified. He wasn’t ready. He needed more time. And so he found himself running away. Like he always did. He’d hide out at his friend Nicholas’ house since Nicholas and Amelia were gone travelling. It would be the perfect place for him to come to terms with his life.
Julia Bishop was enjoying the freedom of her sister’s house. Away from society’s whispers and exile. Due to an exposed spine condition at birth, Julia’s family had been more or less a pariah in society. So Julia enjoyed her time in the country where she could do as she pleased and race across the countryside on her horse. Which is exactly what she was doing when she literally tumbled into Jasper’s life. After helping her to her feet, Jasper assumed her limp was due to their mishap, and Julia saw no reason to tell him otherwise. In fact, he didn’t know who she was. But she knew him. He had been the leading role in her fantasy love affairs ever since she’d peeked at him whenever he came to visit her sister. Why should he know she was That Bishop Girl? Jasper was said to be one of the most sought-after lovers on the continent and he was here alone with her in the countryside. She could have a taste of the romance she’d always wanted. So, giving him an atrocious fake name, her charade began. It could come crashing down at any moment, but for now, she was Miss Juniper Fairchild and she was ready to flirt with the outrageous Viscount Bellamy to her heart’s content. And for Jasper, the thought of flirting with Miss Fairchild added a sense of purpose to his escape that thrilled him.
What follows is nothing short of divine. Of course, the ruse falls apart once Amelia and Nicholas return from their travels, but by then Jasper and Julia are captivated with one another. Jasper found Julia bewitching. There was a challenge to her that set his blood on fire. She was wicked and innocent at the same time. The perfect blend of saint and sinner. With her, he didn’t think of the things that were haunting him. He felt a rightness that had been missing for a long time. Julia found that there was more to Jasper than a famous name and perfect face. He made her feel beautiful. No one other than her sister had ever seen beyond her façade. Jasper did. And he didn’t run away. Her time with him felt magical. What had started as a flirtatious fling was so much more now. But Julia knew “the world would never let them keep each other, no matter how good it felt to be with him. He was a duke and she was the disabled daughter of a disgraced country lord”. But Jasper wouldn’t give up. Julia’s objections were based on what society would allow, and Jasper didn’t care what society thought. It was time for him to quit hiding and face his family and his title.
If possible, I fell even more in love with Jasper and Julia in this book. I loved Julia’s strength. She was aware of the stares and whispers from society but she held her head high. She didn’t cower. She was a ‘seize the moment’ kind of girl. So hopeful. Jasper had “devoted his life to fleeting pleasures that distracted him from memories he didn’t want to recall”, but with Julia, he finally felt peace. She gave him a reason to face the world.
There were so many romantic, yet funny moments. I loved when Jasper faced his fear of water just to be near Julia. And her defence of him at ‘the dinner party from hell’ was delightful. The banter between Julia, Amelia, Jasper, and Nicholas was marvelous. The family and friend dynamics added so much to the story. The most romantic of all though had to be the Fairy Barrow. I thought my kindle might go up in flames!
I’m hoping there’s more to come in this series. I would love to see Amelia and Julia’s mother redeem herself. And I am dying to know more of Jasper’s sister Ruby’s story. Ruby is so dutiful. Never doing anything dangerous or crazy. I’m anxious to see her discover the chaos that love can bring.
This funny, believable, romantic, and heartwarming story will bring a smile to your lips and a delight to your heart. This series is worth every page turning moment and even the book hangover that will definitely follow.
I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book.