by Diana Quincy
Series: Accidental Peers #3
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
England, 1805 Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope is ruined and everyone knows it. Back in Town for the first season since her downfall, Willa plans to remain firmly on the shelf, assuming only fortune hunters will want her now. Instead she focuses on her unique tea blends, secretly supporting a coffee house which employs poor women and children. If her clandestine involvement in trade is discovered, she'll be ruined. Again. No one is more shocked by Willa's lack of quality suitors than the newly minted Duke of Hartwell. Having just returned from India, the dark duke is instantly attracted to the mysterious wallflower. His pursuit is hampered by the ruthless Earl of Bellingham, who once jilted Willa and is now determined to reclaim her. Caught between the clash of two powerful men, a furious Willa refuses to concede her independence to save her reputation. But will she compromise her heart?
Diana Quincy is quickly becoming one of my favorite Regency romance authors, with her head-strong, feisty heroines and swoon-worthy men. In Compromising Willa, the third book in the Accidental Peers series she gives us witty banter and a woman almost on the shelf who suddenly finds herself the center of attention. Mini review: suspenseful and romantic with delicious banter.
During Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope’s first season, she naively thought herself caught up in a forbidden love, and rumor has it, she was ruined. Title and family name have kept the ton from shunning her, but in the four years since there haven’t been any offers of marriage. Returned from India, the Duke of Hartwell finds himself attracted to the mysterious, opinionated and witty, wallflower. The Earl of Bellingham tries to thwart Hartwell’s pursuit and reclaim the woman he ruined. The tale that unfolds kept me flipping the pages and I consumed this in a single evening.
Quincy yet again gave me fleshed out characters to love and loathe. I have long stated I adore strong, independent, smart and feisty heroines and Lady Wilhelmina Stanhope (Willa) is all of those things. Willa is knowledgeable in things that usually interest men, makes her own blends of tea, helps those less fortunate and fully intends to keep her independence. The Duke of Hartwell is definitely swoon-worthy and has modern thinking opinions towards woman. He is known for having a temper but those in his inner circle know he protects the innocent. He is used to women falling at his feet and when Willa doesn’t it intrigues him. He loves her sharp wit and appreciates her intelligent conversations. He finds himself enthralled by her seductive looks and his pursuit of her was fun! Bellingham has just come into his title, and he fully intends to have Willa as his own and will use any means necessary. I wanted to tar and feather the baboon.
Compromising Willa had an engaging plot line that kept me thoroughly engrossed. While, at first glance, the synopsis may lead you to believe there is a love triangle, I assure you it is anything but. Quincy wove in secrets, scandal and threats that had me on edge, all while slowly building a relationship between Hartwell and Willa. We see some of the darker aspects of the ton and the social ladder that made me cringe. I love that her characters, especially the women, seek to correct them. There was a dark thread adding a little danger and suspense that left us guessing as to what would unfold next. Willa’s independent streak, misunderstanding, her friends and personal fears all interfered as we move towards our HEA. Quincy delicately balanced all this making it feel genuine, and I loved how all of the pieces clicked into place.
Fans of strong characters, regency romance, and a little suspense will enjoy Compromising Willa and the Accident Peers series. The fourth book, Engaging the Earl is expected to release this summer. Each of the books in the series can be read as a standalone and involve independent woman of the ton and their romances.