Amazon (free on KU)
Having not read the previous books in this series, I was a little apprehensive diving in. Oftentimes I can't immediately connect with characters, and I feel like I have been dropped into the middle of a drama where nothing is explained. However, Bree Wolf did an excellent job of making this book stand all on its own, even if reading the previous books is still highly recommended. I love a good opposites attract romance, and it was delivered so well with this story. There was definitely angst, and you felt that neither person had been in a relationship before, so the drama level was high quite often. I personally enjoy that in a book where the two main characters don't see eye to eye. It makes for a much more dramatic coming together moment, when they realize they are, in fact, perfect for each other.
Lady Harriet Beaumont is known for being a bit of a wild child. More comfortable out roaming the countryside, rescuing injured animals and generally flouting all social convention, she is not expected to marry. Indeed, she has declared she will never marry, for no man is worth the risk of giving up her freedom. While out riding one day, she comes across a man she has never seen before, who is both intrigued and bewildered by the casual nature of her appearance and manner. Bradley Jackson is a duke, after all, and dukes only spend time with ladies when they are chaperoned. And she most definitely was not chaperoned. However, her charming nature has captured his attention, and though he vows never to see her again, he can't help being drawn in by her smiles and the annoying yet oddly comforting nickname she gives him, sweet Jack. Bradley must marry, and he knows Harry is the least suitable woman for him. If only she wasn't also the only woman he wants.
A classic case of Grump and Sunshine, Harry and Jack were hilarious! I loved Harry's clear love of life, and she never let Jack's stoic nature get in the way of her own enthusiasm. There were times when I thought she would bowl him over with her brightness, and that would be the end of that, but as time went on, I could see him coming out of his shell. Her methods were a bit unorthodox, but eventually, she brought out a side of him he didn't know existed. As you read, you'll find out why Jack is the way he is, and it's heartbreaking. I felt for him as he struggled to be the man his father wanted versus the man his mother hoped he would become. There were definite bumps in the road, as communication was not their strong suit. They spent days apart at times, trying to stay away from each other, and then eventually they would collide again, usually because Harry couldn't stay away. Her desire to be with Jack was much stronger than her willpower to stay away, whereas Jack had years of practice maintaining distance from people. They weren't the couple you expected, but they were absolutely the couple they each needed for a happy life.
I love Bree Wolf's writing style, and I look forward to reading more by her. If she writes more relationships like this one, I will be most satisfied.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**