Second Chance Marquess
by Jessica Jefferson
GENRE: Historical Romance
When Wilhemina Turner’s younger sister runs off with a young Lothario, she has no choice but to turn to the notorious rake who broke his promise and her heart, for assistance. George Bartlett, the Marquess of Chesterton, hasn’t forgotten the woman who hurt him so many years ago, but can’t deny her request, knowing that his brother’s reputation, and fortune, is at risk. A series of misfortunes leave the straight-laced widow and committed bachelor stranded, sharing both close quarters and old secrets. But when morning comes, will this unlikely pair find a second chance at love?
Second Chance Marquess by Jessica Jefferson
From Dragonblade Publishing
He was in a tub.
George was in the center of the room, submerged in a metal tub of water. Apparently, Mrs. Follmer wasted no time in executing her request. His black hair was slicked back and water was beading up on the smattering of hair across his chest, which trailed into a fine line down the center of his firm abdomen…
Thankfully, she could see nothing below the water line for the soap had created an opaque film across the surface.
“How dare you!” She prayed her voice came out as strong as she’d meant it to, despite her knees threatening to give out at any moment.
Why must he always be naked when they had matters of great importance to discuss?
“How dare I what?” he asked calmly, raising one cocky brow.
“You know what you did.”
“Really, you’ll have to narrow it down a bit. I dare to do things all the time.”
Her nose flared. “You lied about us being married. And you had the opportunity for a second room and failed to take it. You put me in this precarious position.” She tried to stare directly at his face, but it was more difficult than she’d thought it to be.
He pursed his lips. “I’m afraid this little confrontation might go a bit long. Do you mind if I get out? I’m starting to wrinkle.”
“No.” She practically shouted. As distracting as his naked form was, with him being submerged and unable to come close made the fight much fairer. “I don’t even see how you got in there. When I left you this morning you could barely stand.”
“The innkeeper’s wife personally saw after the preparations of my bath. She offered me a great deal of assistance, but I finally convinced her to send me up a young man to help me get across the room instead of going through all the trouble herself. Like she offered. Over a dozen times. And thank you for making the request, the muscle is feeling quite recovered.”
She stomped her foot, a childish gesture, but far less destructive than throwing a pitcher across the room as was her first inclination. “Why did you trap me here with you?”
“I thought by claiming you were my wife, I would be doing you a favor. I wouldn’t want to compromise your reputation.”
“Which would not have been necessary had you gotten the second room.”
“Well, that is true. But I thought it would be a benefit to us both if we were forced to spend the night together.”
“Of course you would.” She balled her hands.
You know what I never see in a historical romance? This kind of book. It’s a second chance romance with older characters and you don’t have to tell with the ton at all!!!!! I know, right? And yes, the characters are older. Willie is 28 (widowed) and George is 34 (a rake to the highest degree). Plus, Willie isn’t a wallflower. She has had to endure a bunch of stuff to get where is at in the beginning of the book. She speaks her mind to George and doesn’t pull any punches. Of course, George is just happy to be in the same room with her.
George, at least for me, never stopped loving Willie. Regardless of his station, his father and what transpired between them, he always knew that he loved her. The gambling, tons of women, drinking…he owned up to with Willie. She needed to know what had happened to him in those ten years. That said, Willie seemed a bit more closed off when it came to her ten years apart. It wasn’t until much later in the book that she finally admitted to him what had happened and how she truly felt about it.
Kitty and Henry are nice secondary characters, too. It took their adventure to have George and Willie take a really hard look at their relationship, younger and older, and realize that they were no better than his dad and her aunt. Oh and dear old auntie…she really needed to be slapped. How could she do what she did to Willie and George all those years and still look at Willie and herself in the mirror every day? Ooooo…
This book has everything I truly like about historical romance. There is humor, some smexy time, characters that I cared about from the start, a plot twist that I never saw coming and secondary characters that helped our hero and heroine see their own fate before them. Ms. Jefferson offers up a delicious tale that is definitely on my keeper shelf.