Richard Hill, the Earl of Windermere, might desperately require a wife and heir, but thoughts of duty fly from his mind when he rescues Esme, Lady Heathcote, from the embarrassment of a failed affair. They usually never agree about anything. He’s never even kissed the vexing widow. But when the opportunity arises to whisk her away for a no-strings-attached rendezvous, Richard can’t imagine a better way to spend a moonlit evening.
Esme has never lacked for admirers, but having Lord Windermere’s company goes a long way to ease the pain of losing her suddenly betrothed lover. And when Windermere suggests an affair, Esme is intrigued by the blazing-hot connection even while knowing their relationship has no future beyond his house party.
But as with any temptation, it’s a bargain they’ll soon regret.
No strings attached may be what they were thinking but those “best laid plans” often run amoke when emotions and mother nature gets involved.
Marriage of convenience. It’s been done many times. The difference I was looking for was how the characters behaved before the “reason to wed” as compared to after. Was there heat? Did they have chemistry? Was I looking forward to seeing how it would all play out? I was delighted in how the author answered these questions.
First off, I really liked the scene where Richard takes Esme to his room the first time. What happened wasn’t what I expected at all but I appreciate it. Since I haven’t read the other books in this series, yet, I can only assume that some of the history they allude to could have played out in a previous book. It might be interesting to start at the beginning and find out.
Secondly, they do have a certain version of adversarial heat. They haven’t always been friendly with one another but they aren’t strangers, either. There’s an automatic maturity to their relationship that put them on totally separate footing than if they had just met and knew nothing about each other. The author doesn’t have to waste precious space dealing with them learning about the past before they can move on to the present or future. It was a good call.
The Windemere family has a very interesting history, or maybe tradition is a better word for it, when it comes to the men of the house taking a bride. Knowing that the story eventually comes around to the “reason to wed”, I wondered when/if that tradition would come in to play. Richard states that he wants the tradition to die with his generation but he and Esme have some obstacles to overcome so, maybe or maybe not. Still, the particulars required of that “tradition”, I think Richard was correct in thinking that his ancestors had to be a little loony. When it did happen, it cracked me up.
Reason To Wed was a fun read. I am dying to know what happens to Harriett and Avery and Jillian and Mr. Hammond. So many interesting side characters with stories to tell. Readers who enjoy a spicy historical should truly give this one a try.