(Being shot on the Great North Road isn’t exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.)
“If you want a bath, you’ll have to accept my help,” he said.
She pursed her lips at that, her gaze settling longingly on the steaming bath. “You mustn’t look.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” It might have been the most obvious lie he’d ever told.
Somehow, she believed it, nodding and throwing back the coverlet to step out of the bed. She came to her feet, the top of her head at his chin, and he resisted the urge to help her across the room. “How do you feel?” he asked, hearing the gravel in his words. He cleared his throat.
“As though I’ve been shot, I’d imagine.”
He raised a brow. “Clever. There’s food when you’ve bathed.” The words summoned a low growl from her, and her hands flew to her stomach. Her cheeks turned red, and he smiled. “I take it you are hungry.”
“It seems so,” she said.
“Food after the bath. And then sleep.”
She met his gaze. “You’re very domineering.”
“It’s a particular talent.”
“What with you being called King.”
“Name is destiny.”
She moved past him to the high copper bathtub. He resumed his place against the wall, arms crossed, watching her carefully as she reached down, her long fingers trailing in the hot water as she sighed her anticipation. The sound was like gunfire in the room—pure, unadulterated pleasure. It was delicious.
King stiffened. He was not interested in the lady’s pleasure.
If only someone would tell his body that.
This book right here is the reason I still try new historical romance novels by authors I don’t know a try. This novel is everything I’m looking for in a historical romance with an unexpected twist. It includes a hot and snarky lord, a sassy lady, a “I hate you until I love you” plot-line, and a world of shenanigans from start to finish. It starts with a Lady Sophie showing a particular high up member of the peerage into a fish pond. It also includes, in no particular order, a shooting, masquerading as a member of the opposite gender, a mad carriage race, and daring heroics on a post carriage.
It’s a fun romp with a lot of steam and heart. Part of what I really loved is that King doesn’t initially jump to help Sophie. He smiles and laughs, but ultimately brushes her off. Not the behavior of a typical gentleman and it intrigued me from moment one. Likewise, Sophie was does something that I don’t recall reading about any other society miss, sassy or not, doing. She pushes a peer into a fish pond in full view of the ton. Both incidents grabbed my interest and refused to let go.
Beyond that, I don’t want to say much. I feel like this story is best enjoyed when you don’t know exactly what is coming. What I will say is that I will definitely be reading more of Sarah MacLean’s work in the future. This novel had me giggling and sighing in all the appropriate places and it has that happily every after we all require in our love stories. If historical romance is at all something you enjoy, then this is a novel you don’t want to miss!