A Rogue of Her Own (Windham Brides #4) by Grace Burrowes
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling series!
“Smart, sexy, and oh-so romantic.” -Mary Balogh
For Miss Charlotte Windham, the best way to maintain her spinsterhood-and her independence-is a teeny, tiny brush with scandal. She chooses wealthy, handsome upstart Lucas Sherbourne as her unwitting accomplice. He’s intelligent, logical, and ambitious. What Charlotte doesn’t count on is that one kiss will lead them straight to the altar.
Sherbourne has no love for polite society, nor is he keen on being anybody’s husband of last resort. He is attracted to Charlotte’s boldness, though-and her family’s influence. Without a title, he knows he’ll never truly be part of their world, even as he and Charlotte inch closer to a marriage that means much more than convenience. But a scheming business partner is about to test that tenuous trust, forcing Sherbourne to make a drastic choice: his wealth or his wife.
Review: Charlotte Windham is a fierce protector of women who have found themselves in a delicate situation. She has no interest in getting married and she is the very last Windham cousin not married. However, she does need to be ruined so the men stop proposing and cornering her at various social functions. She wants to be left alone to pursue her goals of continuing her work. Lucas is the wealthy commoner who is the neighbor to the Duke of Haverford (Elizabeth Windham’s book, No Other Duke Will Do). In that book, we met Lucas and for a good portion of the book he came across as the villain when in truth he wasn’t. He is a successful businessman who has a colliery in the process of being built. He is in town to find a business partner when he rescues Charlotte from an aggressive suitor. It doesn’t take them long before he proposes marriage, though both of them only see it as a business transaction. She is attracted to him but is worried he will try and stop her work, so initially she refuses him, but is later caught kissing him by none other than the Duke and Duchess of Windham, the scheming and matchmaking masterminds of the Windham family. Lucas and Charlotte find themselves married and on the way to Wales shortly after that. They don’t know each other and don’t know how to start. Their marriage reminded me of what marriages were actually like back then, which is sad, though theirs had a happily ever after. They grow close very slowly, but when it comes out that Lucas’ business partner is the same man who ruined Charlotte’s best friend a rift arises. It seems hopeless for a few weeks but Charlotte has come to realize she really loves her husband and misses him, and he comes to realize how he wants his marriage to be and they both come to a very tentative understanding. He sets off to seek justice for Charlotte’s dead friend and the son she left behind, and in doing so, discovers he has friends in high places and not all aristocracy is evil and spoiled. I loved Charlotte’s confrontation at the end with her friend’s lover and I love that Lucas overheard it all. Priceless. Perfect. Romantic. And sweet.