I am a huge Joanna Shupe fan so the minute this book became available for review I jumped at the chance to read it! Shupe is a fantastic author for creating both romance, chemistry and anything Victorian. I have read many of her previous books, mostly set in NY during the Victorian period, and I absolutely love them. Same goes for her series “The Four Hundred.”
Aside from this being a book by Shupe, I also loved the description. Lady Christina Barclay is in a dire situation. Her family, through no fault of her own, is dirt poor but aristocratic. She has the tremendous pressure put on her by her parents, to marry and marry very wealthy. Christina is shy and timid, she hates public outings and had no interest in being parade by her mother through New York society. Although Christina’s family is escaping a bad reputation and being penniless her parents hope that she can land a wealthy husband-they don’t care how old or terrible he might be. Christina prefers the solace of her neighbor’s garden. A deaf recluse, Oliver Hawkes loves his solitary life. Except from his business visitors and sister, he does not want any interaction with the outside world. When he finds Christina in his garden, fainted, he provides her with care and sends her on her way. But he specifically tells her that she is not to return. Christina, although grateful for the help Oliver provides her with just can’t accept those terms.
I have to confess that I usually like characters that have a spark from the beginning. I love the hero’s and heroines that don’t like each other and have a hate/ hate relationship that turns to love but Christina and Oliver were both so sweet and tender that I could not help form a special place for them. Both Christina and Oliver understood each other and faced family members that did not mean them well. My only problem is now I am waiting to read the next book in the series which is about the ultra-smooth attorney-Frank Tripp. Aside from the satisfaction of reading about two people that find love Shupe always makes me feel smarter when I read her books. Her historical descriptions of Victorian Age are always so interesting and every book captivates me more.
**ARC provided by Publisher**