First I have to admit that I didn't read the first two novels in this series, but this didn't lessen my reading joy a bit. I'm a big fan of Nicola Cornick's writing and once again she didn't disappoint. This book is very amusing, with lively dialogues and interesting characters.
Merryn is a naive 25-year old noblewoman who is determined to revenge her dead brother, who was killed in a duel by Garrick Northesk. In contrast to most young women of the tom she isn't interested at all in balls, gifts and a husband. She loves books, research and intellectual topics. Garrick in contrast has seen to much of the world and is a very lonely man who is despised by a lot of people and at the same time sought-after because of his title.
When they meet they immediately are attracted to each other. Garrick is especially fascinated by Merryn. Then he realises that she is hell-bound on taking revenge on him and that by doing she so she would unintentionally reveal a well-hidden secret. It becomes clear very fast that something is odd. Garrick behaves noble and without any mean intentions quite contrary to the story of the duel and the killing of his formerly best friend. But Marry is blind to all obvious facts and this became annoying at some point.
This book has a all the classic features of an historical romance: a naive but lovely heroine, a suffering but noble hero, a dark, hidden secret/past and a lot of attraction. And though this all sounds like a cliché I loved how Nicola Cornick formed a very individual romance. And I love how she integrated some interesting historic facts like the beer flood.
For me this was an almost perfect historical romance. I liked the characters and how they developed. I especially liked the banter between the main characters. The plot was convincing and the ending was great.
*** ARC courtesy of Publisher via NetGalley ***