It has been a while since I have read Lisa Kleypas.
I have the terrible habit to name all the negative things more than the positive things, so I will start with the good stuff. As usual, the book is entertaining. Lily is a good character, not silly, confident, free! and with a sad story. Her verbal battles (and sometimes, not so verbal) with Alex were fun to read. Their love scenes were tasteful and not too long. She has her own will and does what she pleases.
Objectively, Alex was a good hero: handsome, strong, powerful, rich, a bit possessive, etc. But, in my opinion, he was a jerk. I will start by saying, I pity Lily. She was surrounded by jerks. The most important men in her life were far from likeable:
1. Her father: who did not care for her at all. Oh, but he "redeems" himself at the end. Yeah, right.
2. Giuseppe: father of her child and main problem in her life. He kidnapped her daughter 2 years ago and keeps extorting her.
3. Derek Craven*: her only and best friend, who abandons her at the night of The Scandal. Some friend.
4. Alex: who makes a wager with her to make her his mistress. Because he liked her and wanted her and that was a nice and fair way to have her. Right. Some hero. He does not try to win her over with his behavior, with words, etc. No, he only thinks in seducing her, but also, he "wants to make her happy". Errr, by making her his mistress against her will?
Like in any Regency romance, there are:
- misunderstandings:like when Alex finds her with Giuseppe and thinks she is cheating on him. And he, all hurt, says "you little whore". Wow, the trust... HELLO! the guy was groping her and she was obviously trying to get away, and the "hero" thinks the worst. And boy how do I hate that word "whore";
- secrets: Lily refuses to tell him her past; she keeps her daughter in the dark -no one knows about her, not even her family, except "dear old friend" Derek. Of course Derek uses all his resources to find the girl, but unsuccessfully. Until the True Hero arrives and voila! the girl is back-;
- unrequited love: not worth describing.
How I wish the epilogue in Historical Romances would not involve a baby. Like, it shows us the perfect couple who are still as in love as they were on the first day, AND on top of that, she is pregnant or with a newborn baby. It is fine and sweet and everything, but can our heroes enjoy their marriage life a little longer?
*So that is the famous Derek Craven. I have read his name so many times. He is like, the epitome of Regency suffering leading man. The example of a Byronic hero. Truth is, I was not impressed.