|The Duke of Tempest, Sebastian St. James, removed himself from his own town house to get away from his giggling sisters and cousins. He planned to spend the Season at his friend's house while he searched for a wife. Nicholas Renwick and his wife, Sara, already had a house guest, Sara's cousin, Emma Gates. Emma was trying to marry to make her parents happy, even with the carefully hushed up incident in her past. Emma and Sebastian come up with a plan. By pretending to be engaged, they could bypass the meddling mommas and unacceptable suitors. In return for the other's help, they would look for the perfect spouse for their false fiancé.
This book is number two in the Renwick House Series. I enjoy Regency romances and this is a good one. The general premise that each one thinks the other is not the right person for them is a common theme in books of this era but Ms. Van Dyken has added so much feeling and emotion to the base story that it all seems new and fresh. The characters are well rounded and their back stories tell why they have become the personalities they both show and hide from others. The book is well written and fast paced. It definitely keeps your attention. Every time one of them thinks they know the other's true feelings, something goes wrong. One obstacle after another. But the whole adventure is a lot of fun.
Emma is cheeky and delightful. Sebastian is a duke with concerns about his reputation but he still has a sense of humor when faced with some of Emma's outrageous actions. I enjoyed watching these two try to convince themselves they weren't falling in love. It was a fun read and I think you'll enjoy it.
Reviewer: Kathy F.