Helena Swift can't see herself marrying anyone after she lost her fiancé at the Battle of Waterloo. Too recently engaged to have told anyone about it, Richard's family still held her close and were fond of her but she didn't have the wider sympathy - or status - of being a grieving betrothed. Once back in England, she lives quietly with her mother in the dower house.
William, earl of Rastleigh, has to marry but can't face the cattle market that is the marriage mart of the fashionable in London. He isn't particularly inclined to get tangled with a love affair, but he needs an heir, more so as his designated heir is a bit of a pointless fop who appears to be after the inheritance before it is his. Brought up in a cold household with just his grandfather after his father died and his mother was forced to give him up on her re-marriage and subsequent removal to her new home in Ireland, love isn't something Will has ever needed.
A chance encounter with Helena while visiting family friends changes Will's mind. During a whirlwind romance, Helena agrees to marry, mostly because they can both see the advantages of each other - for Will, Helena is sensible, pretty, and educated; for Helena, Will is not after her money and offers respectability and she likes him well enough.
However, as time goes on they find themselves craving the love they didn't think they needed, and from each other.
Ms Kullman has written a perfectly pleasant Regency Romance which will be pleasing to fans of the genre. If you are looking for something deeper with a will-they-won't-they plot, however, this might not be for you. All the correct ingredients are there for the straightforward romance genre - handsome earl, pretty, suitable girl, and of course they are going to fall in love. As an example of the genre, it is very well researched with some delightful details, but maybe there is too much modern thinking applied to people of a different era?
But it is nicely written, and Regency fans will enjoy it.
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Louise Adam