Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has vowed never to marry until he’s forced into a corner by his mother. In trying to get her to leave him alone, he promises that he will marry a simple bar maid if his mother can turn her into a suitable bride for him. Poor Pauline Simms, once again she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. All she’s ever wanted is the independence to live her life on her terms and indulge her love of books by opening a bookstore to pay her way. Now she’s leaving all her dreams behind as she’s whisked off to London to learn to be a duchess.
Even if she can be turned into duchess material, it’s impossible because Griffin bribes her to foil his mother’s schemes. Homesick for her family and friends and most particularly her sister, Pauline is determined to advance Griffin’s campaign, but then something unexpected begins to happen. And it’s not just the handsome Griffin who’s begun to dig beneath her walls. Both mother and son in their own way have begun to create their inroads.
And it’s not just Pauline who’s beginning to melt. Griffin is fighting hard against his attraction for the sweet, simple girl who has forged a direct connection to his heart and other manly body parts. This man, who has been courted and feted all his life, finds himself simply content to be with her and to listen to her dreams and aspirations. And really all his mother ever wanted from her intervention was to break through the wall of ice that he’s encased himself into and make him join the land of living, married or not.
I find this a sweet, old-fashioned romance. It is also sad and funny in parts. The development of relationship between mother and son and how they finally come together is very moving. It just makes me sad to think how often such things happen in real life. The deep, dark secret that haunts Griffin is pretty unexpected.
I haven’t read the other Spindle Cove series, but we get to meet some of the characters from previous books, secure in their own lives. If you’re looking for a light summer read, then this is a book for you.
Summary:What’s a duke to do, when the girl who’s perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can’t live without?
Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season—or any season—but his diabolical mother abducts him to “Spinster Cove” and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.
Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn’t dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week’s employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother’s “duchess training”… and fail miserably.
But in London, Pauline isn’t a miserable failure. She’s a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure—a woman who ignites Griff’s desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won’t be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess—can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: