I was so relieved when I start reading this book and felt connected! To the story, to the characters, to the passion I was sure would come creeping out soon enough. I know I keep yapping on about this, but I need to feel connected in order to feel the romance and really care about what happens. Especially with romance novels this is so incredibly important to me. So yay for that.
Seeing as this is part 5 in the series, other people may be familiar with Genevieve's older and wilder brothers. They sound like a swashbuckling, innocence-stealing bunch and all really charming. Genevieve herself is a sweet girl, who thinks she's in love with a boy she's known for years. And is heartbroken when he tells her he intends to propose to her friend at the houseparty.
Alex, the duke of Falconbridge, shows up unexpected, fully intending to take revenge on Genevieve's brother for attempting to steal the virtue of his now ex-fiancée. However, he hasn't counted on the lady he wants to use for his revenge to be so witty and hadn't expected himself to actually enjoy her company. Slowly revenge changes to something else, but with Genevieve's mind on another man, will she see what's in front of her in time?
Genevieve is nice and caring and doesn't just blush and titter at the duke's sometimes outrageous comments. Their conversations flow nicely and I really enjoyed getting to know them more through this. There is also some mystery surrounding Genevieve's sister and one of the neighbourly boys and I feel a story brewing there, which I'd enjoy reading as well.
Alex has the right amount of mystery and handsomeness. He is almost twice Genevieve's age, but this didn't bother me at all. He is the more mature one, but Genevieve is no giggling debutante either (unlike her friend, who paints mainly kittens *cringe*) and they suit each other very well. Alex has some demons in his past, he's experienced huge losses and is changed by this, but hasn't closed himself off completely because of it.
I did think it a bit unlikely that they were never discovered throughout their nightly adventures, but the romance was wonderful. And I had tears in my eyes towards the ending, I loved it. Though I really wanted to slap Genevieve for mooning after that other guy, I didn't really get what was so great about him other than that he was safe. And boring. The only thing that bothered me was that Alex was constantly named the Duke and it took me a really long time to learn he was actually called Alex. I would have preferred Moncrieffe to the Duke almost every time.
I really enjoyed this book, and I love that there's the promise of another story in it.
My rating: 4 stars