About the Book:
He ruined her reputation―now he’s the only one who can save it.
For exactly one season, Lady Charlotte Wentworth played the biddable female the ton expected―and all it got her was society’s mockery and derision. Now she’s determined to be in charge of her own future. So when an unwanted suitor tries to manipulate her into an engagement, she has a plan. He can’t claim to be her fiancé if she’s engaged to someone else. Even if it means asking for help from the last man she would ever marry.
Ethan, Lord Amesbury, made a lot of mistakes, but the one he regrets the most is ruining Lady Charlotte’s reputation. He’s older and wiser now, but his attraction to Lottie never wavered. Going along with her charade is the least he can do to clean the slate and perhaps earn her forgiveness. And, if he’s lucky, her love.
Lady Charlotte “Lottie” Wentworth is returning to London after a seven year absence to try to find a suitable husband. Lottie’s first season turned into a disaster when the man she believed to be courting her ended up causing her to become a caricature and an object of ridicule. After that, the deaths of her mother, then her brother, then her father spiraling into depression kept Lottie at her country home, managing the estate. Now that Lottie’s father is finally starting to return to the living, he is anxious to regain control of his property, and to see his daughter married. He has already picked out a groom, James Montague, the younger son of a friend of his. Though Lottie would prefer not to marry, but to have her own little home to manage, her father is insistent. She has a limited time to find a husband he deems suitable, or she will be forced to marry his choice of groom.
Ethan “Mac” Ridley, Viscount Amesbury, has struggled for years to make his estate profitable. He is a former Scottish sheep farmer, and was ill prepared when he unexpectedly inherited the title eight years ago. The initial heady experience of being a titled young man in London caused him to drink too much, act too reckless, and behave more cruelly than he ever had. He was initially attracted to Lottie, but had mixed emotions about his feelings. He found her to be too dull and proper, yet he saw occasional glimpses of a spirited woman underneath, enough so that he decided to offer for her. When her father sent him packing in no uncertain terms, Mac was hurt, insulted, and angry. He drank too much, and in his rambling to his friends, he belittled Lottie, something his friends found extremely amusing, and were more than willing to share with the rest of society. His cruel nickname for her stuck, and she quickly grew to despise the man she once hoped to marry.
The years Lottie spent managing her family estate have given her a confidence and a sense of self worth that she lacked as a young debutante. Now she’s not afraid to speak her mind, and has no desire to be a demure proper society miss. It’s inevitable that she would encounter Mac, and when she does, she lets him know exactly how she feels about his treatment all those years ago. Mac also has changed. His youthful actions have caused not only the hurt to Lottie’s reputation, but a serious accident to befall a family member. He has tried to atone for his sins by stopping his drinking and his shenanigans, and concentrating on improving his finances and his properties. After Lottie verbally lashes him, he gives her a sincere, long deserved apology, which she accepts.
Lottie and Mac see the changes in each other — she sees that he’s now a serious, hard working man, who is genuinely sorry for the pain he caused her, and he sees the fiery and outspoken woman who now attracts him more than ever. A slow friendship develops between them, one comfortable enough that Lottie confides her real reason for coming back to town. Mac offers to be her temporary fiancé, for as long as she needs, hoping to cool the ardor of James Montague, who has also conveniently shown up in town, shadowing Lottie’s every step.
ANY ROGUE WILL DO takes off at full speed, with Lottie and Mac discovering passion and then love. While both would like nothing better than to make their engagement real, there are obstacles abounding. A villain shows his true colors, sabotaging Lottie’s reputation once again, then taking aim at Mac where it will hurt the most – financially. Lottie’s father still refuses to accept Mac, feeling that he is beneath their family, and he refuses to allow the marriage. If they marry against his wishes, he will not release Lottie’s dowry. It seems that this couple is star-crossed, no matter how much time has passed. I really like the strong woman Lottie has become, and how she’s determined to be her true self. I applaud her willingness to forgive and let go of her grudge. Mac genuinely made some poor choices years ago, and needed to make some serious changes. His self examination and the improvements he made to his own character make him a hero I could admire and root for. The villain in this story is truly odious, and, happily, he receives just what he deserves. ANY ROGUE WILL DO is an excellent first book. The writing is well done and entertaining, as well as touching on emotions. I greatly enjoyed reading this first book in the Misfits of Mayfair series, and anxiously look forward to upcoming offerings from Bethany Bennett. Recommended to all historical romance fans who simply enjoy reading a book which is solid, passionate, and well written. ~Rose
Enter to Win a Print Copy of the Book:
I have print paperback copy of ANY ROGUE WILL DO to send to one commenter – U.S. only. Simply leave a comment below about any facet of this book, the characters, or the trope of the fake engagement. Random winner will be selected October 28. Good Luck!