Last Christmas my Mom handed me this book and said, “I think you’ll like this one.” I was a little skeptical. I don’t usually read romance novels (although, over the last year or so I’ve kind of gotten into them, largely courtesy of my Mom who recommends them). The point of romance seems to be exploring relationships, particularly the beginnings of romantic relationships. And, they can be a little formulaic. Two people meet. They’re perfect for each other but there’s some obstacle (sometimes that one of the participants is 100% not interested in the other.) But, they overcome those obstacles and in the end they are together. At first, I thought this is book was going to be textbook formula. It’s the third in a series that follows the Hathaways and sees the eligible folks in this family paired off. This installment starts with Poppy’s season in the London circuit. She has a beau and is all set to make it work with him (despite the fact that his father would never approve) until she is completely derailed by the dashing (and a little dangerous) hotelier Routledge. I won’t spoil it for you, but what happens next was both unsurprising and delightful.
I really liked the main characters in this novel. The relationship between Poppy and Routledge is complex and interesting. She’s just not a silly girl on the London circuit, Poppy has depth and is smart and curious. And, Routledge is a straight forward, no-nonsense business man who might be cut throat and ruthless but who also has a secret soft center. I liked the give and take between the two of them. I liked the little mysteries. I liked that the main force of the novel was basically about how two people with separate lives learn how to integrate.
In short, I was surprised by this book and I would definitely recommend it.