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**I received a free copy via NetGalley for an honest review.**
This book is brilliant! I rarely find a couple that can match up to couples like Sara and Derek from Lisa Kleypas' Dreaming of You, but Valerie Bowman has done it. The relationship building was wonderful. I found myself genuinely enjoying both the perspectives - Alex and Owen. They were real and their attraction seemed so natural. There were some hiccups (that certain incident with a widow - shame, Owen, shame!), but Ms. Bowman kept me reading even when I wanted to cry and yell at both lead characters.
I also enjoyed the "evil sister" Lavinia - she was so ridiculous, it's no wonder she's practically a spinster! Her parents clearly needed coaching, because they really ruined her for the world. They were perhaps the only characters I felt could have been better described - I felt it was somewhat lacking in that I didn't understand why they seemed to ignore Alex. More explanation was needed, I think. Her brother is lovely, though I'm not sure why given the state of the household growing up. Nevertheless, he was a joy and I wish we could have seen more of him. Hope he gets his own book later on!
In the end, it was a realistic HEA with only mild conflict that added color without being overly dramatic. It leaves me wanting more and that's the perfect feeling for me as a reader.