It Takes Two to Tangle by Theresa Romain

TANGLE
It Takes Two to Tangle by Theresa Romain
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (338 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

He barely survived the war, but he’s ready to throw himself back into the ballroom’s line of fire
Though he lost the use of an arm in the Napoleonic Wars, Henry Middlebrook returns to London society and begins an ambitious courtship with the ton’s reigning beauty. When he experiences limited success, he decides to ask for assistance from the beauty’s companion, Frances Whittier. A soldier’s widow with a murky past, Frances admires Henry’s courage and sends him a secret letter. But he thinks the letter is from her mistress, and Frances must correct his mistake if she wants to engage his heart.

Frances, a widow, is acting as a companion to her cousin. Her cousin, Caroline, is also widowed but she has money. Add the money and her good looks together, and she has suitors from everywhere. Even Henry, home from the war, is trying to win her favor…

Ms. Romain creates a “tangle” when she has Frances write a letter to Henry telling him that she likes him and would enjoy seeing him again. Frances doesn’t sign her name, and Henry thinks the note is from Caroline. Thus begins a game of cat and mouse. Henry is the cat ready to jump forward and claim the prize; Frances is the mouse writing the letters and trying to stay ahead of Henry.

The romance grows slowly and the dance the two characters do around their true feelings is a bit fretful. I just wanted to give them both a good shake and say follow your heart, you fools! It takes a lot of words and angry scenes before Frances admits what she has done. Henry has his own ghosts. He also has a lot of pride, as does Frances. When Henry ends up in a duel, Frances is afraid she has lost him. He only has his left arm left to shoot with; how can he win? And, even if he does, she’s afraid he won’t be back to see her.

The story was good. I think it could have been tightened up and made a shorter story and it wouldn’t have to wander so far before it got to the heart of the matter. I really liked the duel; the author totally solved that in a way that I would never have thought of. She did an excellent job with that. She also is well acquainted with that time period and the way of the ton and accurately portrayed the time period.

Why not settle in your favorite chair and begin to follow Henry’s journey to woo the right woman so the loss of use of his arm won’t fetter him or make it hard to be accepted by the ton again. Frances is the best thing that’s ever happened to Harry, but he has to learn it the hard way…

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