Eloisa James is one of my favourite authors. I love her warm-hearted, witty stories that usually have a group of friends or a family at their heart - in this case, the Wildes.
Parth has made his fortune, several times over, and is about to propose marriage to an Italian contessa. So when the beautiful but 'shallow' heiress Lavinia Gray asks him to marry her he turns her down flat, suspecting her motives. But perhaps things aren't all what they seem?
I think this is my favourite of the series so far. I loved Lavinia and the way she decides to turn her fortunes around by playing to her strengths - fashion - and not taking the easy way out: a wealthy husband, despite Parth's best efforts at trying to hook her up with a prince! The story is mostly told from her point of view and I would have liked a bit more from Parth, who I found a fascinating, if shadowy character. I'd have also liked a bit more of a hint about what he looked like from the start, as I'd somehow got it into my head he was red-haired - probably because of the heroine's comments that (with his beard) he was trying to look like Henry VIII!
I particularly liked the way laudanum addiction was handled - a nice change from those stories I've read where the characters seem to knock it back with no ill effect! And of course I loved all the lush descriptions of Georgian fashion!
Recommended for those who love the lighter, romantic comedy style of historical romance, and fans of authors such as Julia Quinn. And if you subscribe to Eloisa's newsletter, there is an opportunity to read a prequel novella, featuring Parth's adoptive father, the Duke of Lindow.