ARC received for an honest review
I really enjoyed the heroine and hero in Compromising Willa, although I
never read anything by Diana Quincy, I was pleasantly surprised. Lady
Wilhelmina Stanhope has survived a tarnished reputation. She was caught
in an inn with August Manning, the Earl of Bellingham. Willa was
young and believed to be in love. August set Willa up so no one would
ever ask for her hand in marriage. Four years later Willa is slowly
coming back into society, although she has no hope of getting married.
Some of the characteristics that I loved about Willa were her pride and
her confidence. She was definitely a strong heroine. Although most
heroines, at least in the books I read, keep saying that they don’t want
to be married, they generally do. Willa was an exception. After she
and her family suffered from the scandal created by August all she
wanted was freedom. She wanted to be her own person and not someone’s
wife or a prisoner to society. Another aspect of Willa that I loved was
she was not easily swayed but neither August Manning, nor our hero, the
Duke of Hartwell. She is suspicious of their motives and realizes that
they both see her as a prize; dating from a rivalry that started when
they were in school. Willa, despite trying to be trapped into marriage
by both suitors, refuses to be tied down.
Hartwell was a great hero. His temper tantrums were sometimes too much
but he had many redeeming qualities. First, because he was a second son
he was very industrious and traveled to India. He made his own wealth
and therefore didn’t suffer from the stuffiness of the upper-class. I
loved how strongly he felt for Willa but his jealousy was sometimes
misplaced. He tried to make Willa happy any way he could and he was a
genuinely good guy.
Together, Willa and Hart were great. They had great chemistry and were
both worthy opponents. My only complaints were the pacing of the story.
It seemed that nothing really happened during the first half of the
story and then everything happened towards the end. The “big secret”
that Hart discovers came as complete surprise. The author led us to
believe one thing all throughout until the end. I loved that even
though they were married they still had to work through their
insecurities and trust issues. Hartwell was full of surprises and he
swept Willa off her feet, which she rightly deserved. It was also
gratifying to see that August Manning got what he deserved. This was a
great read full of interesting characters.