Libby's London Merchant

Libby's London Merchant - Carla Kelly [a:Carla Kelly|36636|Carla Kelly|] knows how to write her characters. From the very beginning, I loved them. Libby is the kind of woman we find in her books: strong yet a bit vulnerable, loving and taking care of everybody; not rich but not precisely in poverty (she depends on her uncle, however). Then we have the setting, in a rural part of UK (I much prefer her romances set in UK). No balls, no kidnappings, yet a nice story that I enjoyed reading it heartily.

However, as much as I loved Benedict Nesbitt and Anthony Cook, I did not know this was a love-triangle-romance. I was tempted to DNF, to be honest. I loved both men very much, and it wasn't a wonder that Libby didn't know until pretty much the end of the book who she loved the best. Nez, a duke in disguise of a chocolate merchant, is pretty much forced to go to the country to spy on Libby, in behalf of his friend and butler. However, he suffers an accident that forces him to be taken care of by Libby and the doctor of the town, Dr. Cook. Between D. Cook and Libby, they decide, once they realize Nez is a drunkard, to cure him of his addiction.

The story of Nez was so sad. I was teary-eyed a couple of times. It was like Lord Ragsdale ([b:Reforming Lord Ragsdale|222808|Reforming Lord Ragsdale|Carla Kelly||215768]) and Major Beresfort ([b:Summer Campaign|2789664|Summer Campaign|Carla Kelly||2815431]), both in one. He was a drunkard because of the terrible time he faced at war. I just wanted him to have someone to love him and take care of him and make him happy :(

Then we have Dr. Cook, the gentlest man around; the tallest, the biggest (he is very fat), the most patient, the clumsiest, who loved Libby so much. Nothing so much of him at first; it was more about Nez. But once we get to know him, we realize that he is a bit like Captain Summers ([b:Mrs. McVinnie's London Season|222811|Mrs. McVinnie's London Season|Carla Kelly||215771]). Such a good friend! So much camaraderie between him and Libby!

So you see, it was hard to root just for one, since they both are the typical Carla Kelly's heroes. As much as I liked them, I hate love triangles. I didn't want to wait until the end, so I spoiled myself: when looking at the title here in GR, you will know anyway, since this is part 1. Eventually, one of them behaves stupidly, and it was obvious who really deserved Libby. Nevertheless, I wished both men had their HEA at the end of THIS book.

Other characters: Lydia, Libby's cousin, was a goose without a conscience. I am glad to know (or to think) that in the near future she will not be as happy as Libby will be.

Libby's brother, Joseph: I am happy for him! He deserved every happiness.

Anthony's father: beastly man that redeems himself at the end with Joseph. His hatred was a bit obvious for me, but nevertheless, when Anthony tells Libby, I cried a little bit.

Recommended for fans of Carla Kelly, but for newbies, please try somewhere else first.