Series: Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #4.5
Published by Avon Impulse on August 22nd 2017
FINAL DECISION: A lovely gem of a coda to the amazing Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series. Gina and Andrew are such a fun and sweet couple that I smiled and sighed through the whole story.
THE STORY: Miss Virginia “Gina” Hammersley was supposed to be the sister making an advantageous marriage this season. But her scandalous older sister and the Marquess of Rexton fell in love. Now with her sister making a proper marriage, Gina knows that her own options have expanded as well. Lord Andrew Mabry, the younger brother of Rexton, intends never to marry. As the “spare”, Andrew knows that he doesn’t have the title that Gina wants. Yet neither his determination to remain a bachelor nor Gina’s expectations can keep Andrew from wanting to be with the woman he cannot take his eyes off.
OPINION: This story was so well done that I truly forgot that it was a novella. By focusing intensely on the characters and their relationship, the novella felt complete and satisfying.
Andrew is the second son who hasn’t found a purpose in his life. It is always a challenge for an author to write the story of a child born of a happy marriage (which is one reason we don’t see as many books about the children of prior characters). The best characters are often found in torment from their lives. Andrew had a happy childhood, but Heath does a good job of giving him his own pain that has made him more convinced to stay unmarried. A man who has an example of the wonderful marriage of his parents can only be determined to stay unmarried if he fears inside that he will never be able to duplicate that effort. I loved his character which is fun and sweet (even though he sees himself as rakish). He is immensely likeable and this book shows him finding who he really can be.
Gina is a woman who has an American’s brashness and desires to be her own person. When she recognizes that she wants Andrew, she is determined to take every opportunity open to her for adventure and happiness. I love that she is unconventional and yet has her limits. I also really admire a woman who is willing to suffer for love, is willing to put happiness over reputation and I liked her strength and joy in life.
I just loved the relationship between Gina and Andrew. Sweet and sexy and fun.
I’m a big sucker for these types of stories where we get to see more of characters from prior books. I love having a few moments more with characters that I already fell in love with and I admit that I have a hard time letting go of their stories. There are glimpses throughout this story which just made me happy.
WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella.
CONNECTED BOOKS: GENTLEMEN PREFER HEIRESSES is book 4.5 of the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series (which itself is a spin-off of the Scoundrels of St. James series). This book is a closer for book 4 of that series, AN AFFAIR WITH A NOTORIOUS HEIRESS. I recommend reading that book first because this one flows directly from that book — although the story itself is separate. It is not necessary to read any of the prior books in the series to read this one, but with all the connecting characters, this book just works better as part of the series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Edelweiss in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.