About the Book:
The notorious viscount
And the most gossiped-about lady…
After years as a diplomat in the Napoleonic Wars, Lord Eastwood is reluctant to return to London society. His scandalous divorce has made him infamous, not to mention cantankerous! To halt the rumor mill, he should marry a quiet noblewoman—instead it’s bold, vibrant artist Faith Brookes who’s caught his attention. They are the least suitable match, so why is he like a moth to a flame?
Piers, Viscount Eastwood, has returned home to England from his latest diplomatic assignment to find, unsurprisingly, that he’s a social pariah. About five years ago, Piers rushed into marriage with Constanca, only to discover that they had little in common, and that their seeming love was only an intense, but fleeting passion. Constanca’s numerous infidelities led her to become pregnant by a man she’s determined to marry, so she begs Piers to divorce her. At this time in history, divorces are not easy to come by, and take forever. Piers uses all the influence of his political and family connections in order to speed the process through, thus allowing Constanca to marry her lover. Piers, however, is now considered persona non grata.
Faith Brookes is the daughter of a renowned portrait painter and famous soprano, and is a talented artist in her own right. She longs for success of her own, but now helps her father by painting the backgrounds of the portraits he creates. When her father is commissioned to paint a family portrait of the Earl of Writtle’s family, he naturally brings Faith to assist him. Due to an unfortunate affair with a titled gentleman years ago, Faith has no use for aristocrats. The earl’s son is Piers, and Faith is already inclined to disrespect him, having heard the gossip, as well as being prejudiced due to her own bad experience.
Faith and Piers are off to a rocky start. Piers finds Faith to be beautiful, vibrant, talented and outgoing – all of the things that attracted him to his first wife. He’s determined to avoid that type of woman again. If he ever remarries, it will be to a staid and solid lady, one who can only help him socially – certainly not to a woman whose family is barely on the fringes of society. Still, he’ll be polite, but distant. Faith doesn’t hesitate to immediately begin to needle Piers, sure that he’s as fickle as her former false suitor. The antagonistic sparks fly, until gradually, this couple begins to see the other beyond their preconceived perceptions to the genuine people underneath.
I love that Piers and Faith become friends first, before either acts on their attraction. Initially, they both feel that a relationship between them would never work, but then decide that what they feel is genuine. They sensibly agree to have a courtship to give themselves time to really know each other in depth, before they take an irrevocable step. Things are going beautifully, and it looks like the future is rosy, when an unwelcome appearance by Piers’ former wife throws him off kilter, bringing back all his feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and uncertainty.
Piers is such a hard working, dedicated, intelligent, and multi-talented man, yet, he feels that he is dull and boring, and that his vocation is unimportant, though the opposite is true. Faith also has her own self doubts regarding her artistic talent, and her desirability. Together this wonderful couple brings out the best in each other, while their encouragement helps the other to see their own worth. THE VISCOUNT’S UNCONVENTIONAL LADY is very well written and is a joy to read. I love how the romance developed slowly, yet steadily and warmly. I also enjoyed seeing how Piers and Faith grew as people, and came up with the strength to let go of their unfortunate pasts and move on to a bright future together. ~Rose