Monday, 8 December 2014
Book: An Illicit Engagement by Cecilia Gray
Chastity Drummond is invited to the parties but shunned due to her common birth, but even she knows that she needs to make an advantageous marriage to help the family shipping business, which is where her next door neighbour, Lucas Willoughby, comes in. Known as the 'Matchmaking Baron' due to his six previous engagments ending up in the lady married to someone else quite happily, Chastity plans on capturing someone else's attention by hinting that she is engaged to Lucas. However what she didn't plan on was the attraction she felt for the Baron, or how he'd feel for the first time...
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An Illicit Engagement is the second book in a series of Regency shorts (that can be read as stand alones) and as a short read it was great, there was chemistry and emotion with enough of a plot line to keep you entertained. Saying that it is exactly what it says on the tin, there's no real surprises in the story, though sometimes that is exactly the way a book should be (to cater to those moods where you don't want something serious i.e. in this case between books in a series about the end of the world).
I did like Chastity as a character, I wasn't too sure there was much to her from her appearance in the first book (as a friend of the heroine) but actually in An Illict Engagement she had much more personality, and was one of those female characters that cares for more than just a dress.
Lucas Willoughby was definitely an interesting character. Normally with male Regency characters the male MC is either a rake or so emotionally shut off from the world that it will take that special woman to break him out of it. This is where An Illicit Engagement actually stood out, because Lucas was somewhere between the two. He'd had six previous engagements and yet wasn't considered a rake, and when he examined it himself he came to some logical conclusions.
The chemistry between the two characters was good, as was the relationship building, though I think the idea was that they didn't even realise they were doing it. In fact it was a very equal relationship, with both treating each other with respect, and wanting to protect the other.
Great as a short read, though there was no surprises in the plot line or the characters.