Review – A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp

From New York Times bestselling author Candace Camp comes a delicious and steamy marriage-of-convenience historical romance in A Perfect Gentleman.

Forced to marry an American heiress to save his family, Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair, vowed their marriage would be in name only. Abigail Price thought handsome, aristocratic Graeme was her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from her overbearing father. But when she was spurned by her husband on their wedding night, Abigail fled home to New York.

Now, years later, Abigail has returned. But this sophisticated, alluring woman is not the drab girl Graeme remembers. Appalled by her bold American ways but drawn to her beauty, Graeme follows her on a merry chase through London’s elegant ballrooms to its dockside taverns—why is his wife back? What could she want of him now?

Torn between desire and suspicion, Graeme fears that Abby, like her unprincipled father, has a devious plan to ruin him. But is Abigail’s true desire Graeme’s destruction…or winning his love at last?

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                     A Perfect Gentleman: A Novel

My Review:      

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

Graeme Parr was only twenty three years old when he was coerced into marrying an American heiress, Abigail Price.  Abby’s father knew of the Parr family’s financial woes, as well as an incident that they wanted to keep secret.  Although Graeme was in love with Laura, he agreed to bite the bullet and wed Abby, thus saving his family, but sacrificing his own happiness.  His good breeding allowed him to treat Abby with courtesy and politeness, though he feels nothing for her.  Then, shortly after the wedding ceremony takes place, Graeme’s new father-in-law makes a crude remark to him about creating his grandson, and Graeme loses it.  All his pent up anger and frustration over his lost love and this forced marriage comes bubbling out in a tirade with Abby as the victim.  Abby was smitten with Graeme from the moment she met him.  Though she knew he was marrying her for financial gain, and had no illusions that he loved her, she had every intention of making the marriage a good one.  Graeme’s insults crush her, and after he storms out, she packs up and returns to America, with her dreams vanquished.

Ten years have passed, and in that time, Graeme has inherited the earldom, and is successfully managing his family estates.  He could never pursue Laura because he was still technically married, but he’s had a series of affairs and leads a relatively contented, if somewhat detached life.  Back in America,  Abby is no longer under her father’s thumb.  She’s reinvented herself, and is now a confident, charming and attractive woman.  Her return to London causes a maelstrom of rumors and speculation, and no small amount of anxiety for Graeme.  Why could she have possibly returned?

I love the person that Abby has grown into.  Though her eighteen year old self was cruelly wounded, and she did flee from Graeme and his disdain, she didn’t hide away in America.  She became a strong social presence and created a satisfying life for herself.  Still, she can’t remarry and have children, so it’s time to return and face her past.  I admit that Graeme’s actions did not endear him to me initially, but as the story developed, I grew to understand and like him more.  His confusion over his own reaction to his wife is priceless.

Initially the estranged couple plays a bit of a cat and mouse game, until Abby finally lays her cards on the table.  While they struggle with whether their surprisingly passionate response to each other will be enough for them to build a future on, it now seems that someone is trying to kill Abigail.  A PERFECT GENTLEMAN is the best book I’ve read by Candace Camp, in fact, I read it all in one sitting.  The reconciliation is slow building and timed perfectly, thereby feeling more genuine.  Both Abby and Graeme were pawns ten years ago, but the people they are today makes them perfect for each other.  I highly recommend this very satisfying second chance romance.

                                            As reviewed at The Romance Reviews:  The Romance Review

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