Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window. Besides, a reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her.
Sarah has never forgiven Hugh for the duel he fought that nearly destroyed her family. But even if she could find a way to forgive him, it wouldn't matter. She doesn't care that his leg is less than perfect, it's his personality she can't abide. But forced to spend a week in close company they discover that first impressions are not always reliable. And when one kiss leads to two, three, and four, the mathematician may lose count, and the lady may, for the first time, find herself speechless ...
Three years ago Hugh Prentice was drunk – so drunk he accused his good friend Daniel of cheating at cards and challenged him to a duel. Things didn’t work out like either of them planned - being drunk and going into a duel on no sleep doesn’t make for a good outcome. And it wasn’t. Hugh got shot in the leg and had months of recovery but was able to teach himself to walk again. Daniel was shot in the shoulder but worse than that was Hugh’s ass of a father who threatened Daniel and ran him out of England in fear for his life. Hugh managed to finally convince his father to let Daniel be and all’s well that ends well, right? We read in the last Smythe-Smith book that Daniel met and was marrying Ms. Wynter so his life is moving on.
Then we have Lady Sarah Pleinsworth, a Smythe-Smith cousin who completely blames Hugh for her unmarried state. She certainly hasn’t been one to keep those thoughts to herself and has told Hugh exactly how she felt about him. You see, Sarah was due to have her first Season the year of the duel and because of the scandal was forced to wait a year. In the year that she didn't come out no less than 14 bachelors got married! One of them could have married her! But no, it was all Hugh’s fault!
Hugh doesn’t care for Sarah any more than she cares for him but when they find themselves at the wedding of Honoria and Hugh’s friend Marcus, Honoria asks Sarah to companion with Hugh – not knowing the animosity between the two. The companionship was, at first, torture, to put it mildly. But as the pair spent more time together they find that they actually got along quite well and ended up falling in love. There is always a hitch to these things and in this case it was A) the deal that Hugh made with his father to stop him from going after Daniel and B) the fact that Hugh’s father is certifiably nuts. Though their love wasn’t an easy road to travel the two make it work.
This was a wonderfully charming novel, just as Quinn’s always are. I loved how Hugh and Sarah hated each other at first but were thrown together. The sniping at each other and digs they got in cracked me up and I loved the humor that Quinn inserted into this novel. She has such a quirky way with her characters and I just love each of their characteristics.
Hugh was so damaged – both physically and emotionally – because of the duel and he regretted his actions almost immediately but couldn’t call off the duel. He had no intention of hitting Daniel but life doesn’t always work out the way it’s planned.
Sarah was so anxious to get married but she wasn’t a bubble head about it and willing to just marry anyone. She really was looking for love and I adored the fact that she saw past Hugh’s gruff exterior and saw him for the man he was.
Overall a great novel and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Smythe-Smith clan.
Rating: 4 out of 5