by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Hellions of Halstead Hall #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Lady Minerva Sharpe has the perfect plan to thwart her grandmother’s demand that she marry by year’s end: become engaged to a rogue! Surely Gran would rather release her inheritance than see her wed a scoundrel. And who better to play the part of Minerva’s would-be husband than wild barrister Giles Masters, the very inspiration for the handsome spy in the popular Gothic novels she writes? The memory of his passionate kiss on her nineteenth birthday has lingered with Minerva, though she has no intention of falling for such a rakehell, much less marrying him! Little does she know, Giles really is a covert government operative. When the two team up to investigate the mystery behind her parents’ deaths, their fake betrothal leads to red-hot desire. Then Minerva discovers Giles’s secret double life, and he must use all the cunning tricks of his trade to find his way back to her heart.
If you have followed my blog for the past year then you are well aware of my love for Sabrina Jeffries and her Hellions of Hellstead Hall series with its strong characters and their mischievous, meddling Grandmother. How to Woo A Reluctant Lady offers us Lady Minerva Sharpe’s tale, one of two sisters in the Hellions family and oh lord is she snarky, quick-witted and in over her head. While each can be read as a standalone, there is an overall mystery ARC that is threaded throughout and one I quite enjoy. Three world review: funny, smexy and suspenseful.
The hellions have all been given an ultimatum. Their beloved grandmother has had enough of this strong-willed bunch and their shenanigans. They must each marry by year’s end or forfeit their inheritance. Two are now happily wed much to their surprise, and Lady Minerva has devised a plan thwart her grandmother’s plans. She advertises for a husband in the chronicle hoping she will cry off. What she doesn’t anticipate is Giles Master applying for the position. He is the man who in one moment gave her the best kiss of her life and in the next broke her heart. He is also the inspiration behind her fictional character in the highly popular Gothic novels she writes. The tale that unfolds was absolutely delightful and had me completely captivated.
I adore the characters Jeffries has created with this unique family and was anxious to get Lady Minerva’s story. She is witty and doesn’t take any grieve from her overbearing and protective brothers. She writes Gothic novels and is quite good at them. This makes her passionate and headstrong qualities I love in a heroine. Her weakness is Giles Masters and she deals with him like I imagine a lot of writer’s do, by weaving him into her stories. Giles’ is smexy, dangerous and not at all like the image portrayed by his peers. His reaction to Minerva and his convoluted ideas about love, marriage, and trust made this tale and their interactions delicious, suspenseful and at times annoying. He is smart and logical and skilled at his chosen career but has a few loose nuts when it comes to relationships thanks to his past. The Hellion brothers and grandmother were ever present and added to the tales humor, suspense, and mildly addictive angst.
Jeffries’ tale is well paced, filled with twist and turns that kept me flipping the pages. I read this in two non-stop sittings and found myself laughing, intrigued and swooning as the heat between them was turned up. We see some advancement in the overall series ARC and I cannot wait to learn more. We glimpse the other siblings, and at times they created angst which was delightful. The Grandmother is so clever and she really allows the siblings to fall into their own webs and I adore her. The banter, heat, and unfolding of Giles and Minerva’s romance was perhaps my favorite thus far. The chemistry, history and their personalities meshed making it feel genuine and believable. We get hints about the unwed sibling’s stories that are yet to be told and as I closed the book with a smile I found myself looking forward to the next book.
Fans of romance, suspense and particularly Regency romances dealing with families will adore How to Woo a Reluctant Lady and the Hellions of Halstead series. The next books in the series are To Wed A Wild Lord and A Lady Never Surrenders, followed by a Christmas tale; ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. My plan is to finish up this series by November and read the Christmas tale in December. Look for my reviews here.