"The key to a successful marriage," Lord Vickers pontificated, "is to stay out of the way of one's wife." Such a statement would normally have little bearing on the life and fortunes of Miss Annabel Winslow, but there were ten things that made Lord Vickers's pronouncement hit painfully close to the heart. One: Lord Vickers was her maternal grandfather, which pertained to Two: the wife in question was her grandmother, who Three: had recently decided to pluck Annabel from her quiet, happy life in Gloucestershire and, in her words, "clean her up and get her married." Of equal importance was Four: Lord Vickers was speaking to Lord Newbury, who, Five: had once been married himself, apparently successfully, but Six: his wife had died and now he was a widower, and Seven: his son had died the year prior, without a son of his own. Which meant that Seven: Lord Newbury was looking for a new wife and Eight: he rather thought an alliance with Vickers was just the thing, and Nine: he had his eye on Annabel because Ten: she had big hips. Oh, blast. Had that been two sevens?Ten Things I Love About You is the sequel to What Happens In London. It stars Sebastian Grey, the handsome cousin of Sir Harry Valentine. He is spending a lot of time (especially meal times) with Harry and Olivia. What he does outside of their company may shock society--at first--and it's not seducing married women. Every one knows he does that. (Hint: his real secret is revealed in the prologue. So it isn't a secret for long. And it's a rather delightful secret, in my opinion. But I hesitate to mention it because even though it is revealed early on in this book. It might effect how others read What Happens in London.)
Annabel sighed, since that was the closest she was permitted to slumping in her seat. It didn't really signify that there were eleven items instead of ten. Her hips were her hips, and Lord Newbury was presently determining if his next heir ought to spend nine months cradled between them.
The heroine, Miss Annabel Winslow, meets our hero when she is running away from Lord Newbury. The good news? Newbury's lusty advances were thwarted in time. It doesn't make Annabel feel any cleaner. She's still disgusted by the thought of his hands on her body--anywhere on her body. But at least she escaped...this time. She doesn't know Sebastian's name. He doesn't know hers. But for whatever reason, they're able to talk to one another freely. In seclusion. Both know it's improper--she's obviously an innocent. Not his usual "type" at all. But there's just something drawing them together...
When she does learn his name, well, that's when she learns how dangerous it could be. For Lord Newbury is Sebastian's uncle; he's next in line to inherit if Newbury doesn't have another son. She KNOWS that these two are enemies. And she knows that many, many people would disapprove of even the smallest acquaintanceship between the two. He has a horrible reputation. No one has to tell her that much. (She did come across him politely "waiting" to return to the party after a secret meeting with a woman). So why can't she forget him?
I enjoyed Ten Things I Love About You. I loved Sebastian (though I can't tell you why) and I really liked Annabel. I also liked Olivia and Lady Louisa. While it is different (in quite a few ways) from What Happens In London, I thought it worked. It reminded me more of The Duke and I and When He Was Wicked.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews