For a while, Gaelen Foley was my number one favorite romance novelist. The first book of hers that I read was Prince Charming and I immediately fell in love with it. I believe I’ve read it about 8 times now, which might just be my record. It’s a comfort read at this point, but when I read it the first time it was new and exciting and I felt for the characters in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Lady Daniela Chiaramonte was a heroine unlike most of the ones I had read about and the plot and the romance were both very exciting. I can still see some of the scenes from the book in my head. I’m not sure if I’d feel this way if I read it again – it’s been several years now – but Gaelen Foley has never matched that level for me again. She doesn’t do it with Her Only Desire, either, but it’s easily as good as many of the historical romances out there.
Miss Georgiana Knight, raised in India, is wary of men. She has spent too much time reading her aunt’s little book on men and marriage. Her aunt, however, was the Hawkscliffe Harlot, the most infamous member of the Hawkscliffe family, giving birth to a number of illegitimate children; so it’s difficult to imagine that her views on matrimony should be trusted. Georgiana thinks they are, until she meets Ian Prescott, the marquess of Griffith, who despite being anti-marriage himself, convinces her to give romance a try.
I enjoyed this book, but I would say it’s about average for a romance. The characters are spunky, but at least Georgiana is anachronistic and has very modern viewpoints. It’s very hard to imagine that a girl raised in India, surrounded by Islamic best friends, does not understand how these Muslim girls feel about their religion. Perhaps she does not approve of their decisions, but the way she behaves is unrealistic. She is an engaging girl, but I don’t see her as fitting in with the period. Nor does the language fit in, though, as she constantly calls Ian a “bad boy” and every so often the prose would slip and I’d be jolted out of the story. I liked Ian a bit better, as he at least fits in with his time period and is properly ashamed of unorthodox behavior.
I didn’t really believe in the love story, but as so often in these books, it happens too fast for me to believe it’s anything but lust. The couple goes through a lot together, but I didn’t see a compelling reason that I should root for them to remain together.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did. I found the plot moderately interesting and I liked the appearance of characters I recognized from the rest of the Knight Miscellany books. I never wanted to put the book down. I do feel, however, that there is a reason people say the Spice Trilogy (of which this is the first book) is not as good as Foley’s previous efforts, because this is not. If you’re looking for a good place to start, go with the Ascension Trilogy or The Duke, both of which I really enjoyed.