Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-028-6
Historical Romance, 2015
Hannah Walpole has been to places most English ladies can only read about, but even after two years of trying to acclimatize in England, she still finds the whole Ton experience one of the most daunting ones she’s ever come across. Despite all the lessons on good manners that her parents paid to be foisted on her, she still feels out of place, awkward, and more. When the story opens, she gets lost in the host’s house during a ball. Worse, there is a rather painful accident involving a clasp digging painfully into her leg. You know those clothes back in those days, I’m sure – it’s not easy for a lady on her own to reach down and adjust that thing. Fortunately, a handsome dude comes to her rescue.
On Miles’s part, here is a woman he is very attracted to, and her dowry is as beautiful as her visage and her pedigree. Perfect. The fact that her branch of the family are rather… eccentric (both her parents are pretty well known as explorers of the African continent) is of little concern to him. The poor dear is too clueless to realize that she’s slowly turning herself into a social pariah, but don’t worry, he’d come to the rescue!
Relentless Lord is a novella, and the usual limitations apply: characterization is lighter, so there is a Happy Meal feel to the romance. Therefore, you may want to keep this aside for another time if you are in the mood for a more filling meal, if you know what I mean. Having said that, I have a good time reading this one.
Yes, there is an overwhelming sense of “I’ve read this before” vibes when I read this story. Hannah is the feisty and unconventional lady who can’t fit in well despite her best efforts. The hero is a playboy. They meet, he pursues her and wears down her reservations, and while she has no intention to marry him, she decides that she needs that one special night with him.
Still, let’s not be hasty with the eye rolls – Relentless Lord is actually a pretty fun read because of the chemistry between the two main characters. For all their familiar trappings, Hannah is a likable and earnest heroine without coming off as contrived, while Miles is more like a charming rogue than some jaded and bored rake. They feel right together, despite the accelerated pace of the last few chapters, and I finish the story thinking that, perhaps, these two would be alright together.