I know many readers who are not fans of short stories. There isn’t enough meat on the bone and they fail to satisfy their hunger for in depth character development, plot and romance. I’m the exact opposite. I love them because they’re bite-size morsels, quick reads, and a cost effective way to discover new authors. So it’s no wonder, given my already slavish devotion to Harlequin Historicals, that I’ve quickly become hooked on the new electronic-only Harlequin Historical Undone line.
Viscount Maldon finds himself in a dire situation thanks to his father and older brother. Because of their gambling, the family estate is near bankruptcy, and Maldon has younger sisters who need dowries. On the advice of his financial man, he finds himself at Almack’s with a list of eligible debutantes with family fortunes. Maldon has to show the ton (and his creditors!) that he’s serious about rescuing the family finances. The problem is Maldon has no desire to marry, and the idea of being a fortune hunter holds zero appeal. This is why Miss Katherine Malahithe literally runs into him in an alcove, hiding behind a potted palm.
Katherine is an heiress with no desire to marry. In an attempt to thwart her matchmaking aunts, she’s taken to appearing as unattractive as humanly possible and it has worked in scaring off several would-be suitors. She was looking for her own hiding place at Almack’s when she runs into Maldon, and these two immediately engage in a war of wits. Maldon is intrigued, has no idea Katherine is an heiress, and despite herself, Katherine cannot stop thinking of him. Can the friendship that blooms between them, grow into something more?
This was a quick read featuring some lively banter between the two leads. Especially charming is how Maldon explains away their lurking behind a potted palm together when one of Katherine’s aunties discovers them. Both of them find the situations they’re in less than enjoyable, and the friendship that springs up between them feels natural and is quite charming.
The writing here is a little abrupt, and I found some of the transitions a little uneven. Writing short stories is a challenging task, and given the nature in this story, Burrows hops around in time on more than one occasion. It’s still an enjoyable read, but not always a smooth one.
That said, I found Notorious Lord, Uncompromising Miss an entertaining way to pass my lunch break. Burrows is primarily known as a UK, Mills & Boon writer, and this nice little short story is a good way for American readers to get to know her without investing a lot of time and money.
Debutante Katherine Malahithe has come to London determined to resist the fortune hunters only interested in her money. Her efforts to appear unattractive successfully ward off most suitors—except for Viscount Maldon, a man who wants to avoid marriage as much as Katherine. The handsome, provoking Viscount becomes an unlikely ally, but can either of them escape the altar when friendship turns to passion…and scandal?
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