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?
Oh, Willa. Hart. You guys rock so hard. Seriously. Now, before this gets awkward (too late?) let me just say COMPROMISING WILLA was one of those books that grabbed me from page one. And before I caught my breath, Ms. Quincy threw in a slight twist that told me I was in for one heck of a ride.
She didn’t disappoint.
COMPROMISING WILLA is not just beautifully written, but smart and dimensional. Willa is splendidly quick with her tongue, leading to positively delicious banter between her and the yummy Duke of Hartwell, whose absence has kept him free of the gossip that has irreparably damaged Willa’s, erm, marketability. Ruined woman? Pshaw! Okay, so maybe by society’s standards, but fortunately Hart doesn’t quite see it that way. The tension between Willa and Hart is smokin’ hot, and the author is a master of infusing that smexiness into every exchange. Somehow these two buck tradition while remaining true to the period, leading to a delightfully fresh story that positively immerses the reader in 1805 England. There’s very little about the plot that could be marked as predictable, and as intricate as some of the pieces, they all came together perfectly at the end. (I’m looking at you, Augustus. Dude was PWNED!)
If you love historical romance, grab this one. If you don’t, grab this one anyway. You will fall in love!
*Review copy provided by author*
Willa did not appear surprised to find herself sitting next to Hartwell at supper. Nor did she seem to mind.
“I find I have the best seat at the table,” he said as they took their places.
“Are you certain the air won’t be too brisk for you?”
He grinned. “Why Lady Wilhelmina, in your own Arctic way, I do believe you are flirting with me.”
“You are our guest,” she answered in smooth tones. “Pray don’t mistake polite discourse for something that it is not.”
“Ouch.” He touched his heart in dramatic fashion. Sitting next to her, he’d have no need of dessert. She was like a Gunter’s lemon ice—tangy, tart, and delectably frosty.
She curved those pillowed lips into a smile, a reluctant one, but he still counted that a victory. “Surely you are not so easily wounded, Your Grace.”
“Actually, as a second son, I have heard far worse. One is not as popular when he is not in line to inherit a dukedom, or at least a vast fortune. As fate would have it, I am now in possession of both.”
“Clearly modesty is not something you are in possession of.”
Hart gave a mischievous smile. “Usually a title and deep pockets are sufficient to attract the attention of a lovely creature such as yourself.” He sipped his wine. “Otherwise, I shall have to win you over with my equally deep reservoirs of charm and good looks.”
Her closed mouth wobbled with laughter until she managed to wrangle it into submission. “I should like to know when you decide to begin employing those qualities.”
Hart shot her a surprised look. She was teasing him again. Promising. He softened his tone. “Oh, believe me, my lady, I intend to make you well aware of my charms.”
About Diana Quincy
Diana Quincy is an award-winning former television journalist who decided she’d rather make up stories where a happy ending is always guaranteed. Growing up as a foreign service brat, Diana visited many countries and is now settled in Virginia with her husband and two sons. When not bent over her laptop or trying to keep up with laundry, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dreams of traveling much more than her current schedule (and budget) allows.
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