Monday, March 2, 2015

The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress by Erica Ridley

Captain Xavier Grey came back from the war shaken and troubled by what he had to do there.  The world as he knew it no longer exists.  He finds no honor in his actions but he did what he was commanded to do.  All he knows is that he is not worthy of any woman or even his friends anymore.  He spends his time keeping to himself and hiding away.

Intrepid Reads and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It is being published today, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is a bit like a Gothic romance and, more than anything, it's the story of Jane.  She's a spirited, intelligent twenty-four year old spinster.  She's ignored by all, people don't remember her and no matter how sarcastic her comments are or how crazy her actions they still don't remember.  She wants someone besides her brother to love her and remember her.  But how's she going to accomplish that?

When Xavier joins her party of friends at the theater, she almost chokes.  She was fantasizing about him ravishing her when he steps in!  He actually leans forward and talks to her and stays close during the performance. When she goes home, she can't sleep.  He was so close but so far away.

The good news is that her brother goes on a business trip and her maid tells her Xavier has left the city and gone to a small cabin he owns.  She gives her maid vacation time, rents a hack, and heads for the cabin.  Unfortunately, she has to bring the devil cat her brother owns with her, but she's going to take action.

Xavier is flabbergasted when she shows up at the door.  She's alone, has drug her luggage up from the drive, the hack is gone, and he's given his servants time off.  He can't be alone with her in this cabin!  Yet, there is no choice.  There's no room at the inn, it's too late for her to return, and it's beginning to snow.  She can spend the night in his room, he'll take the servants quarters.  But the cat manages to eat his cravat and his tea towel and a few shirts before he's contained again.  They don't have much to say to each other that night.

When he wakes in the morning and finds them snowed in, he's very frustrated.  He's trying to keep her good name and she's not cooperating.

I love the banter back and forth.  What really makes this book, though, is the ending.  It's romantic, charming and just perfect.  Ms. Ridley does a great job with this story.

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