*Book source ~ Purchased at Amazon
Violet Lorne, daughter of the Earl of Portsmouth has had an unconventional upbringing. The only child of a man who desperately wants a son, she has been ignored her whole life, left to be raised mostly be servants on her father’s country estate. When four wives fail to produce an heir for him, he decides his unsatisfactory daughter can finally be of some use. He decrees she will marry a man of his choosing and produce an heir that he will raise. In exchange, he will grant her the freedom she longs for in the form of a small estate and enough of an inheritance to live very comfortably. Violet jumps at the chance to be free and is resigned to do what she must. Until she meets Dominick St. Locke, the handsome, charming and single Duke of Kensington. Suddenly, her path has become muddied and she has to decide who to trust after a lifetime of trusting no one but herself.
This story is a decently written historical romance. There are some issues with POV, since it switches between several characters, sometimes within a short space of time. The characters are delightful though and the plot is a tad different in that Violet has a terrible father, but at least he’s ignored her for the majority of her life. I did think Violet was a bit of an idiot, trusting that her dick of a father would keep his word and turning down Dominick’s proposal, but I cut her some slack for the way she was raised. She was desperate and desperate people sometimes don’t think things through clearly. The plot seems a bit contrived in spots and the characters a little simplistic at times, but there’s humor and some steaminess to offset that. All-in-all this is an entertaining, slightly steamy historical romp from a new-to-me author. I’ll definitely look up more books by Melinda Rivers.