About the Book:
Can a broken engagement ignite the spark of true love?
Sylvia Dowder had almost made it to the altar when her fiancé unexpectedly became a viscount, and dropped her like a stale crumpet to make a more “suitable” match. Though Sylvia’s heart has been crushed, her spirit has not. She puts her wits and social savvy to use as a secret gossip columnist—and as the Everton Domestic Society’s party planner to the ton. Luckily, she’s not in danger of ever falling for an aristocrat again…
Especially not one like Anthony Braighton, Earl of Grafton. Raised in America, Anthony sees no reason to marry when he can enjoy all the perks of being an eligible earl. Determined to convince his family he doesn’t need a wife, he hires Sylvia to act as hostess and decorator for upcoming parties. Yet Sylvia is as adept at captivating his interest as she is at beautifying his home. And despite this Everton lady’s aversion to titled men, some attractions can’t be denied—and love rarely does go where it’s told.
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: A Lady’s Virtue (Everton Domestic Society Book 3)
After a three year courtship, Sylvia Dowder’s fiancé, Hunter, inherited a viscountcy, and promptly dumped her. Because it’s unlikely she’ll be able to make another match, her mother has decided instead to focus on securing a husband for Sylvia’s sister, Serena. Unwilling to be a financial burden on her family, Sylvia becomes an employee of the Everton Domestic Society. Her new assignment is for the Earl of Grafton, helping to redecorate his newly inherited home and planning several parties and social events.
Anthony Braighton was acquainted with Sylvia when she was out in society, though they didn’t know each other well. With his new title as earl, he has many responsibilities, and his mother is strongly encouraging him to marry. In order to prove that he doesn’t need a bride, he hires Sylvia to take care of his home and entertaining. Anthony was raised in America, and is half Italian on his mother’s side of the family. He dreams of putting the burdensome earldom in order, then traveling to Italy to stay for a while, perhaps forever.
Anthony and Sylvia have a perfect working relationship until attraction starts to get in the way. Sylvia is determined to be professional and dedicate herself to her new career, while Anthony is determined not to care for anyone and having to bear yet more responsibility. Their chemistry is such that it’s hard for them to stay away from each other. When Anthony’s feelings become too strong, he purposefully picks a fight, ending their employment agreement, and seemingly, their friendship and any chance at romance.
I like that Anthony was a champion of Sylvia and her situation, placing the blame of her social fall squarely on her unsavory former fiancé. I don’t recall if his actual age was ever stated, but he struck me as very young because of his actions. His picking of a fight, some of his outbursts, then his changing his mind about Sylvia had me thinking he had some maturing to do. As for Sylvia, her bad experience with Hunter caused her to have an aversion to titled gentlemen, which seemed irrational, as she only had the one encounter, and was prejudiced against all noblemen.
In A LADY’S VIRTUE, both Sylvia and Anthony had to do some soul searching and some maturing before they finally realize they have a genuine love. They discover that the superficial things don’t matter, and if there is honest emotion and caring, they can face all other obstacles, much stronger for being together. ~Rose