Published by Entangled: Amara on June 25, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Grace Alnott is out of time. To save her younger brother from an abusive guardian, her merchant father’s will demands she must marry a peer. Handsome but destitute Everett Hetherington, Earl of Westbury agrees to her offer of a marriage of convenience but stipulates she must live with him for six weeks. No matter how honorable he seems she can’t allow him to get too close, because the aristocracy cannot be trusted.
Six weeks. Major Everett Hetherington, new Earl of Westbury, has exactly six weeks to convince the very independent Grace Alnott to spend the rest of her life with him. Despite her belief she doesn't belong in his world, he must tempt the alluring Grace into staying, because he has fallen for her. Hard. He just has to ensure she never discovers his secret.
~~Reviewed by Bonnie~~
Grace Alnott’s deceased father’s greatest wish was for Grace to marry Lord Raynor, the man he chose as guardian for his young son. But Grace has firsthand knowledge that Raynor isn’t the honorable man he purports to be, and has no intention of marrying him, and is determined to remove her young brother, Henry, from his guardianship. Mr. Alnott has not left Grace any inheritance, only a large dowry, which is conditional upon her marrying a titled peer. Grace decides to search for an impoverished aristocrat who is willing to enter a business arrangement which will net him half of her dowry in exchange for a marriage of convenience in name only.
Everett Hetherington, second son and former soldier, is now unexpectedly the Earl of Westbury, a title he never expected to inherit and is ill-prepared for. His father and older brother have made poor investments and run up gambling debts which the earldom has no funds to pay. In addition, there is a disease which is killing most of the cattle, causing almost certain financial ruin. Everett hears of Grace’s search and hastens to meet her. He’s pleasantly surprised by her beauty and poise, but not so enamored of her terms.
Grace will immediately give Everett half her dowry if he agrees to let her keep half, keep his hands off her, keep from consummating the marriage, and keep his nose out of her business. Everett’s debts are such that he needs more than the half he’ll acquire, but he’s desperate enough to agree to her terms if she will agree to stay with him for six weeks, allowing him to save face. His ultimate intention is to seduce Grace into a real marriage. Grace is eager to start legal proceedings to acquire custody of her brother, so she agrees. The marriage begins with deception, Grace not disclosing her reasons for wanting her half of the dowry, and Everett not disclosing the full amount of his debts and his intention to have a real marriage.
As I read the first half of this book, I was very disappointed with both characters. I disliked Grace’s aloofness, and her constantly rebuffing Everett’s overtures of friendship. I didn’t think the experience she had (a prior engagement that her father ended) justified her coldness and her unwillingness to even discuss her problems and goals with Everett. I also hated that Everett lied about the total indebtedness of the earldom, and set out with a calculated plan of seduction to further his own agenda. Then things began to change. Everett began to have genuine feelings for Grace, though he kept his promise about not making physical overtures unless she requested them. He also staunchly defended Grace to his snooty mother, who felt that a merchant’s daughter was not good enough to be the Countess of Westbury. Grace, too, began to loosen up and respond to Everett’s approaches. Their banter and their sizzling chemistry substantially picked up the pacing of the book, and I enjoyed reading the second half much more.
Both Grace and Everett showed considerable growth as they worked to achieve their goals, and they truly did have the best of intentions, Everett to make the earldom a success, and Grace to remove her brother from the custody of a villain. While the secrets and deceptions created a very bumpy road for this couple, their passion, their developing love, and their ingenuity saw them through. I especially enjoyed the clever resolution to their major problem, and their chemistry was very hot. Ms. Pendle does know how to write a sexy scene! I think that SIX WEEKS WITH A LORD will be an enjoyable read for fans of the marriage of convenience trope who enjoy some steam with their romance.