Series: Gentleman's Club
Author: Patricia Waddell
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: February 1, 2004
With his title, wealth, and reputation for satisfying his lovers beyond all expectations, Norton Russell Foxhall, Earl of Granby, attracts women in droves. But no lady keeps his fires burning for long. It doesn't help that every woman ruins the chase by blatantly wanting him. Is there any female creature whose mind isn't embroiled in thoughts of marriage and wanton desire?
"Contentedly wed" are two words that make Catherine Hardwick scoff. The bold, auburn-haired beauty would never yield to a man any more than she would acquiesce to ride her beloved stallion sidesaddle in a dress.
Lost in irritable thought and galloping a full speed, Catherine doesn't notice the dashing young man in the road till she's nearly on top of him. She knows she must apologize, but she never expects the ruthless cad to exact such a devil's bargain from her.
An arrogant earl demands a kiss in apology. An indignant lady grants him his one request. But there's no such thing as a simple kiss...and no saying no to such unruly, impossible, irresistible passion.
Norton Russell Foxhall, Earl of Granby, has just watched two of his best friends get married and wants nothing to do with it. He wants nothing more to do with his recent ex either, so he gladly escapes her clutches by riding off to Winchcombe and the nearby stallion farm.
But it's certainly not his lucky day, just as he's sworn off women, he's almost trampled by one on a magnificent horse.
Miss Catherine Hardwick wants nothing to do with a London season, to her aunt's chagrin, or gentlemen in particular, since they're all philandering bastards not to be trusted. Her two friends just got hitched and the two bastard gentlemen they got hitched to are making their lives miserable, so there you have it, Catherine has sworn off all men.
Well, she should have thought of that before riding (astride!) at full speed down a country lane and almost killing one of the specimens of the gentleman sex.
Needless to say, Granby is intrigued enough to give this woman a chance and Catherine is attracted enough to give this gentleman a chance...And to think they were just thinking how sweet it was to be single.
After the great first book in the series (He Said Yes) this was rather disappointing. Don't get me wrong, the pacing was good, the humorous scenes nicely placed, the dialogues snappy...it was the characters that didn't hit the home-run for me...Actually it was one character.
Granby was your typical rake, all "slutty" and mischievous on the outside, but a true marshmallow on the inside. Or as Aunt Felicity pointed out somewhere in the book, rakes make for the best husbands. When they settle down they're putty and love every minute of it.
It was Catherine that literally got on my nerves. I like a stubborn wench as much as the next gal, but she was a wee bit too stubborn for my taste. Childish to a fault, spoiled beyond measure, judgmental, and she never though things through before acting. Lucky for her Granby was a patient man (and completely head over heals in love with her), I'd given her the boot after three pages.
Despite the big flaw that was Catherine Hardwick, this was still a fun and "lightweight" read. Luckily Ms. Waddell lost the few barbaracartlandesque tidbits that were rather prominent in He Said Yes and somewhat polished her style. The editor might have given this one a more thorough read, though.