In One Night in London, we learned that the three de Lacey brothers may lose their inheritance due to their father’s prior marriage – they could all be illegitimate. Gerard de Lacey, the youngest of the brothers, may be something of a war hero, but is in serious trouble if he does get disinherited, as he will have very little left for himself in the world. Determined to find the blackmailer, he heads to Bath, where the clues lead, but his path is interrupted by a young widow who proposes to him on the spot. Lady Katherine Howe is not beautiful, but she is wealthy, and she’s desperate to escape her mother and her impending marriage to a second man that repulses her.
Ah, the marriage of convenience. It’s a trope that appears in quite a lot of historical romance and, of course, because this is a romance novel, the characters do fall in love eventually. That said, a trope done well is still an enjoyable read, and I certainly found Blame it on Bath to be precisely that. Almost as fun as One Night in London, and actually happening in parallel, Gerard and Katherine – affectionately nicknamed Kate early on – are a couple that beg to fall in love from their very first, awkward meeting.
In this particular book, Kate blossoms from a girl hidden beneath her mother into a woman in her own right. Clothed in plain, simple, dark dresses throughout her life, so that her mother faces no competition, Kate’s marriage to Gerard allows her to shed that weight and figure out who she really is. She may not be one of the gorgeous heroines which feature on the pages of most novels, but as he falls in love with her, Gerard sees her personality shine through her face and realize that she is, in fact, beautiful to him; it’s very heart-warming to read.
I liked the setting, too; Bath is easy to visualize now that I’ve been there, and the city is very similar to the way it would have been in the book. It was a nice change from London, where most romances of this type take place.
Still, I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first in the series; the couple fail to communicate at certain parts of the book, which never ceases to annoy me. It just creates problems – it certainly made the heroine have a moment of backsliding that frustrated me a lot.
So Blame it on Bath is not a flawless romance, but it was certainly worth reading, and I’ll happily pick up the third and final installment when it releases.
I received this book for free for review.