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A Dangerous Kind of Lady

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A desperate situation calls for dangerous deeds… Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears. Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Ara A desperate situation calls for dangerous deeds… Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears. Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Arabella’s surprise, Guy has become strong, honorable, and unexpectedly attractive…but he refuses to even hear her plan. After leaving England to escape his corrupt, controlling father, Guy has vowed never to do anyone’s bidding again—certainly not Arabella’s. To Guy’s surprise, Arabella has become intriguing, quick-witted, and unexpectedly attractive, but he has enough drama trying to gain custody of his younger sisters, and he wants nothing to do with her dubious schemes. Until Arabella shows up at his house one night, and Guy finds himself entangled to a dangerous degree…


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A desperate situation calls for dangerous deeds… Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears. Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Ara A desperate situation calls for dangerous deeds… Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears. Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Arabella’s surprise, Guy has become strong, honorable, and unexpectedly attractive…but he refuses to even hear her plan. After leaving England to escape his corrupt, controlling father, Guy has vowed never to do anyone’s bidding again—certainly not Arabella’s. To Guy’s surprise, Arabella has become intriguing, quick-witted, and unexpectedly attractive, but he has enough drama trying to gain custody of his younger sisters, and he wants nothing to do with her dubious schemes. Until Arabella shows up at his house one night, and Guy finds himself entangled to a dangerous degree…

30 review for A Dangerous Kind of Lady

  1. 4 out of 5

    Talia Hibbert

    I wish I could be more coherent about this book, but YOU KNOW ME. Reading excellent romance melts my brain cells. All I can say is that I've been waiting for this book forever (because Mia Vincy writes the hilarious regency romcoms of my heart) and it exceeded expectations. What a bloody epic romance. Not the tragic kind with a bad ending, but the neverending feels kind with a beyond satisfying ending that makes you want to hug yourself and squeal for the rest of the day. There is an incredible, I wish I could be more coherent about this book, but YOU KNOW ME. Reading excellent romance melts my brain cells. All I can say is that I've been waiting for this book forever (because Mia Vincy writes the hilarious regency romcoms of my heart) and it exceeded expectations. What a bloody epic romance. Not the tragic kind with a bad ending, but the neverending feels kind with a beyond satisfying ending that makes you want to hug yourself and squeal for the rest of the day. There is an incredible, memorable heroine who I related to so strongly, and whose personal arc is a really great commentary on a particular kind of misogyny. There's a hero who grows so beautifully and fantastically walks the line between frustrating sexy prat I want to smack and genuinely nice guy who just keeps fluffing it up. The book has serious Persuasion feels, except they are childhood enemies. In short, it's perfect and divine and you should read it if you want to be happy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this an A- at AAR, so 4.5 stars rounded up. While A Dangerous Kind of Lady is the third published book in Mia Vincy’s  Longhope Abbey  series, it’s actually the second in the series chronologically .  If you’ve read the author’s début, A Wicked Kind of Husband, (which is chronologically book three) you’ll already have met Arabella and Guy Roth, Marquess and Marchioness of Hardbury as a happily married – even besotted – couple.  But knowing that’s how they end up is, as any dedicated I've given this an A- at AAR, so 4.5 stars rounded up. While A Dangerous Kind of Lady is the third published book in Mia Vincy’s  Longhope Abbey  series, it’s actually the second in the series chronologically .  If you’ve read the author’s début, A Wicked Kind of Husband, (which is chronologically book three) you’ll already have met Arabella and Guy Roth, Marquess and Marchioness of Hardbury as a happily married – even besotted – couple.  But knowing that’s how they end up is, as any dedicated romance reader will know, not the point; the fun is in the getting there, in the emotional journey the characters take to find love and happiness.  A Dangerous Kind of Lady is their ‘origin’ story, and tells how the fiercely independent, sharp-tongued Arabella, betrothed to Guy Roth since childhood, becomes un-betrothed, re-betrothed, un-betrothed again (sort of) and then marries him anyway.  All while falling in love along the way of course. When the book opens, Guy has recently returned to England following an eight year absence and has assumed the title – Marquess of Hardbury – he inherited on the death of his father around a year earlier.  It’s widely believed that Guy left England in a sulk after the woman he was in love with spurned him (not only did she sleep with someone else, she then went on to become a much sought-after courtesan), but the truth is more complicated. The old marquess was obsessed with controlling his son’s every move, and leaving the country was the only way Guy could assert his independence.  Now Guy is at last free to live his own life, one of the first things he does on his return is end his engagement to Arabella Larke. The end of the betrothal doesn’t actually bother Arabella all that much – in fact, she’d be celebrating if it wasn’t for the fact that her father is so bent on marrying her off that he doesn’t particularly care who the groom is.  Lord Sculthorpe, a handsome war hero who gives Arabella the creeps every time she so much as thinks of him, is about to propose any minute, and as Mr. Larke has threatened to cut Arabella off if she doesn’t get married, she’s desperate to find a way to avoid Sculthorpe without losing everything.  To buy herself some time, she asks Guy to pretend their betrothal is back on, just for a few weeks, but  Guy refuses to hear her out,  certain she’s trying to manipulate him into marriage.  After all, she never made a secret of her desire to be a marchioness, and her insufferable pride must have been dented when he ended their engagement.  Guy’s refusal to help leaves her with only one option; to accept Sculthorpe’s offer and then jilt him as soon as she can.  But she’s reckoned without her father’s determination to get her off his hands; rather than the spring wedding Arabella had intended, he insists she and Sculthorpe will be married within the month.  Utterly repelled by Sculthorpe and his fixation on her virginity, Arabella decides that while she may have to become his in law, she doesn’t have to become his in spirit or give him any more of herself than necessary.  And there’s one thing she doesn’t have to give him if she doesn’t want to. Which is why Guy opens the door to his rooms one evening to be confronted by Arabella practically demanding to be seduced.  He’s completely suspicious of her motives, and knows only too well the sorts of games she’s capable of playing – yet he can’t resist the challenges she keeps throwing at him or the glimpses of the woman behind the prickly, proud façade he knows she doesn’t mean to let him see.  Taking Arabella to bed is a recipe for disaster and they both know it.  It’s also a revelation.  And marriage – to each other anyway – is not an option. Arabella and Guy are superbly drawn, complex characters who are not always particularly likeable and who don’t always make the best choices, but whom the reader will want to root for nonetheless.  When we first meet her, Arabella comes across as something of an ice-maiden; proud, aloof and calculating, she seems to be untouchable and impervious to her reputation for sharp-tongued arrogance.  But it’s quickly clear that this is all a self-defence mechanism.  Since the death of her twin brother, Mr. Larke has dismissed Arabella as useless and worthless, and she longs to regain something of the relationship they had before.  But all he does is push her away, so she’s constructed thick walls and buried her true self deep inside, locking away the hurt of her father’s rejection and presenting herself to the world as proud, intractable and absolutely unassailable, someone who attacks before she can be attacked.  But as Guy comes to know her – as difficult as she makes it – he realises that regardless of what is said about her, she never refutes it or fights back, and he begins to see an amazing woman, a woman who loved and fought, who made mistakes and fell down, then got back up to love and fight another day.  Guy’s life with a controlling father has given him his own load of emotional baggage to deal with; he’s spent almost his entire life being denied choices in even the simplest things such as which tailor to go to, or when or how he could have his hair cut, and for him, his betrothal and Arabella herself became symbols of his father’s desire to crush his spirit and dominate him. Guy’s desire to have nothing to do with her is his way of proving to himself that he’s free to live as he chooses. The main secondary storyline deals with Guy’s determination to gain custody of his two sisters from their guardian, who, he suspects, is stealing money from their trusts; Arabella is the first to clue into the fact that he is scheming to marry his son to Guy’s nineteen-year-old sister and gain control of her fortune that way.  Then there’s Sculthorpe, a singularly unpleasant individual I was delighted to see get his comeuppance, but I’ll warn now that there’s one scene during which he physically attacks Arabella that is distressing to read. Ms. Vincy’s talent for sharp and insightful dialogue is very much in evidence, and she does a wonderful job of using Arabella and Guy’s frequent sparring matches to show how perfectly matched they really are.  Their chemistry is incendiary right from the moment they meet on the page, and the big seduction scene I’ve mentioned above (not a spoiler because it happens early on) really is one of the most unusual I’ve read: “You seriously think that we should take off all our clothes and pretend to like each other long enough for me to bed you, and then you’ll merrily go one your way?” “That sounds right.  Although we needn’t take off all our clothes.  Or pretend to like each other.” It’s funny and poignant and even sad, but insanely sexy all at the same time. A Dangerous Kind of Lady pulled me in from the very first page and didn’t let me go until the very last.  The emotional journey these two characters travel leads them not only to discover how badly they’ve misjudged each other, but also to learn a lot about themselves as well.  Arabella and Guy are extremely well characterised, their motivations are clearly put forward and the romance is expertly crafted. But a couple of things about the book as a whole caused me to lower the final grade a bit.  Firstly, some of the things Arabella says go way beyond antagonistic verbal sparring and are downright hurtful.  Guy is no angel in that department either – I thoroughly disliked the way he completely dismisses Arabella in their opening scenes together – but Arabella really is her own worst enemy and while I know why she behaves as she does, she still sets out deliberately to wound.  Secondly, watching the two of them continually find new ways to say the exact opposite of what they mean, only tell each other partial truths and misunderstand each other got rather exhausting after a while. But even with those criticisms, A Dangerous Kind of Lady still earns a strong recommendation and Mia Vincy continues to live up to the promise she showed in her début.

  3. 4 out of 5

    OLT

    I wasn't all that fond of Vincy's Beastly Earl, but this Dangerous Lady has my vote and is up there with the first Vincy book I read, A WICKED KIND OF HUSBAND. When A BEASTLY KIND OF EARL was released next, it did not appeal and I was thinking perhaps she was one of those one-book wonders. But no. This new one, third to be published but, apparently, chronologically #2 of the Longhope Abbey series, has me back to fan-girling the author. At times I became frustrated with the heroine here and her de I wasn't all that fond of Vincy's Beastly Earl, but this Dangerous Lady has my vote and is up there with the first Vincy book I read, A WICKED KIND OF HUSBAND. When A BEASTLY KIND OF EARL was released next, it did not appeal and I was thinking perhaps she was one of those one-book wonders. But no. This new one, third to be published but, apparently, chronologically #2 of the Longhope Abbey series, has me back to fan-girling the author. At times I became frustrated with the heroine here and her debilitating pride and stubbornness and thought maybe this was only a 4-star book, but those scenes in the Reading Room at about 70% clinched it for me at 5 stars. (And, no, I'm not going to tell you about what happens. You really have to be there.) And, of course, I have to admit that the romance, when the bumpiness of its trajectory was not exasperating me, was downright swoony at time. Two stubborn people, both with daddy issues but not the same daddy issue, our H and h had been betrothed when young by their parents. The H, Guy, as he grew older, was having none of that, partly because he was not interested in the h that way but mostly because he was not interested in being controlled by his father in any aspect of his life. As a matter of fact, he takes off for 8 years for parts unknown to get away from everyone. Now back in England, he makes it perfectly clear that he has no intention of honoring that betrothal to our heroine, Arabella Larke. It must be said that Arabella has a different kind of daddy issue. Her twin brother died young, leaving her with the emptiness that many surviving twins have described at the loss of their close sibling. But the worst part is that her father makes her feel guilty at being the surviving twin. She is good for nothing, in his opinion, and nothing she does pleases him. Since Guy refuses to marry her, her father has arranged her engagement to the horrendous yet handsome Lord Sculthorpe, a superficially pleasant peer who manages to give off some serious creepy vibes when around Arabella. Her father threatens to cut her off financially and more or less disown her if she doesn't go through with this engagement. Arabella, who is a strong, managing, planning kind of woman, needs to find a way out of this. The best she can come up with, unfortunately, is to enlist Guy's help. If he could only agree to a fake betrothal for a period of time, perhaps all could be well in her life. Unfortunately, her pride and stubbornness and lack of transparency in her actions and in the way she tries to request his help and also the fact that Guy himself resists her at every turn, not really listening to her and assuming the worst about her, cause her plans to go awry. The H and h go along at cross purposes for most of the book. It could be frustrating at times to watch this when all it would have taken, perhaps, was a little more truth and honesty and real conversation. But then the hard-earned HEA wouldn't have been quite the triumph that it was here. Along the way to their happiness, there are many romantic moments, funny moments, sexy moments, serious and dramatic moments, and lots of interesting secondary characters to keep the reader's interest up. I'm guessing somewhere along the way in Vincy's series, we will have Guy's sister Freddie's story to enjoy. Now that this book has me convinced that Vincy is one of the best new HR authors releasing romances, I'll be looking for every new one that she releases.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Blackjack

    It's cliched to argue that patriarchy is an underlying theme of a historical romance novel, but still, in Vincy's third book, the ill effects of patriarchy drive the story and shape the main characters' lives in devastating ways and in such totality that I struggle to think of a novel where this is demonstrated so consistently from start to finish. Guy Roth manages to escape from his controlling father who is determined to marry him to a local and titled family in order to secure property for th It's cliched to argue that patriarchy is an underlying theme of a historical romance novel, but still, in Vincy's third book, the ill effects of patriarchy drive the story and shape the main characters' lives in devastating ways and in such totality that I struggle to think of a novel where this is demonstrated so consistently from start to finish. Guy Roth manages to escape from his controlling father who is determined to marry him to a local and titled family in order to secure property for the Roth patrilineal name. His betrothed from childhood, Arabella Larke, isn't quite as fortunate as Guy because as a woman she cannot simply flee family expectations and hope to return in her own good time. No, Arabella is deserted by her fiance and is then forced to live under the dictates of a tyrannical father who insists that she marry and reproduce male heirs or be disinherited and cut adrift from her entire family and society. It's a depressing and formative set of circumstances both Arabella and Guy face as children. There is no love lost between these two childhood foes, though they do recognize a kindred spirit in their rebellion from harsh fatherly demands. The novel begins with Guy's return to society eight years after abandoning his role as the heir of the Roth line and just as Arabella is at her wit's end trying to forge a marriage to the least constrictive man she can hook. The plot is winding and intricate as Arabella and Guy maneuver around each other, trying to avoid an unwanted marriage, drawn to each other nevertheless for so many good reasons, and ultimately tied by circumstances beyond their control. To say that their happy ending is well-earned is a serious understatement as these two go through a tortuous path to love. That the love exists though is not in any doubt to readers, and that is one of the most wonderful things about this brilliant book. We get to see through each interaction how much both characters appreciate and respect the other and how dismayed at times they are by falling in love with the one person who best represents the strictures placed on them in their world. They do eventually find a way together to turn the tables on the rules that constrained them and the ending of the book is just perfect in its unique resolution to their conflict. I had some genuine moments of surprise reading this book because there are scenes here that I don't think I've read before in a romance. After their first sexual encounter, for instance, Arabella upends Guy's masculine crowing in a way that left my mouth open. I've been reading reviews that indicate that Arabella is a tough heroine to understand and like, and I have to say that I felt the exact opposite. She is such a sympathetic and complex figure. Never simply a victim even while victimized at times; never a "harridan" as her father calls her because women can be controlling and endearing all at the same time; and never unattractive because being "feminine" is a construct that traps women rather than enables them to redefine sexiness. Guy is a bit less of a presence in this book, partly because he's paired with a larger-than-life heroine. However, Guy recognizes Arabella's vastness and adores her for all of her strengths as well as flaws. It's always hard not to love a hero for convincingly loving a complex and difficult woman. I'm so impressed with Vincy for writing this book. I've left out so much that I loved here, including the fact that Vincy never demonizes the socialite women orbiting around Arabella, including her rival for Guy's affections. They too are complex and their seeming myopic focus on marriage is a facade for much underneath. I'm hopeful that Juno the artist will have her own book. And, oh my goodness, Arabella's mother makes Arabella's machinations look like child play. I've enjoyed all of Vincy's books and can't wait for the next one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jultri

    I love a good enemies-to-lovers story and this promised to be a scorcher. Vincy's debut was sensational, but unfortunately her second book (which confusingly is #3 in the Longhope Abbey series) didn't quite match its predecessor's high standard. This one (allocated as book #2 in the series although written after #3) is definitely better, but is let down by the heroine's frustratingly tight-lipped behaviour. The betrothal of Arabella Larke and Guy Roth had been arranged by their respective father I love a good enemies-to-lovers story and this promised to be a scorcher. Vincy's debut was sensational, but unfortunately her second book (which confusingly is #3 in the Longhope Abbey series) didn't quite match its predecessor's high standard. This one (allocated as book #2 in the series although written after #3) is definitely better, but is let down by the heroine's frustratingly tight-lipped behaviour. The betrothal of Arabella Larke and Guy Roth had been arranged by their respective fathers since childhood, much to the ire of the parties concerned. The head strong and highly competitive Arabella has been a thorn in Guy's side for almost as long as he can recall, and the animosity between them has not subsided one bit upon his return back to England after an absence of eight years to take over his late father's title of Marquess of Hardbury. “When a woman marries, she gives everything to her husband—her property, her body, her very safety. If I must give so much power to a man, I should prefer one who will not abuse it. Who respects me for who I am and takes me as an equal partner.” “He would need to be brave, too.” She shot him a look. “True. Terrifying men is one of my more notable talents.” “Maybe you should not try so hard to terrify them.” “I do not try at all. I achieve it with the greatest ease.” Arabella clasped her hands. “I am exceedingly sweet and demure. And if anyone says otherwise, I shall strike them with my crop.” Arabella has never been thrilled by her father's first choice of husband for her, but she has recently discovered that the alternative is even worse than the coolly, arrogant Guy. She doesn't have to like him in order to need him, and she needs him to remain as husband-in-waiting for a while longer, while she puts in place one of her elaborate schemes. Unfortunately, Guy has never been cooperative when it comes to Arabella. Nevertheless, they slowly realise, that they really have been fighting the imposing shadows of their dominant fathers more than each other. “I don’t need you to rescue me,” said her pride, which did not know how to thank him. “Don’t be absurd. I’m not rescuing you,” he said, mimicking her. “I’m helping you rescue yourself.” Guy is a great character, ultimately decent and noble and so refreshingly straight forward in his thinking to her complex cognitive processing. “What is your scheme? I confess I haven’t the wits to keep up with you. I have only my principles to guide me, and my desire for you so addles my mind I hardly know what to think.” How easily he revealed his weaknesses, so sure of his strength that it diminished him not at all to reveal his flaws. Arabella is spirited which is admirable, but her misplaced pride and stubborn refusal to confide in Guy frustrated me. I really didn't get her fear of Sculthorpe (view spoiler)[, who was a creep in terms of his preference for virgins but otherwise did not display any sadistic tendencies to elicit such a reaction from her. I also did not get why Arabella's threat to expose Sculthorpe as a woman-beater should frighten him into retreat, as society and the law readily turned a blind eye to such happenings in those days, especially since he was a peer (hide spoiler)] . Her internal dialogue was all over the place at times, perhaps deliberately to reflect how her predicament had affected her usually razor-sharp and rational mind. I think, Vincy left it a bit late to explain Arabella's character. I think, I would have been less frustrated with her, if I had known her back story earlier, but I guess that's how Guy was feeling also - perplexed by her contradictory behaviour and not understanding her motivations until much later. Arabella's dialogue with her deceased twin was poignant and well done. I do love her mother who was equally as fierce and clever as Arabella, although in a less overt way. And I liked that Guy recognised this and had a healthy respect for Lady Belinda. Lady Belinda did not move an inch. “You will not see my daughter in this agitated state and with another man’s blood on your hands.” “To be fair, some of this blood might be mine.” “Why do I not find myself comforted? In the hallway, Guy paused to consider Lady Belinda’s odd parting speech. He did not possess the subtlety of thought displayed by Arabella and her mother. But he suspected he was learning fast. All in all, a very enjoyable book elevated by the great writing and bantering that is becoming Vincy's style. I look forward to the next book. Will it be Freddie's book? Why shouldn’t I, too, have a chance to sow my wild oats?” What a load of nonsense! But Arabella clearly had no intention of explaining, so Guy didn’t waste his breath pressing for more. Instead, he said, “Women don’t have oats to sow. Women are the field, so to speak, in which the oats are sown.” She did not sigh, but she gave the impression of having sighed. “Let us not debate metaphors. You understand my point. But speaking of that, you will take care to avoid sowing any oats in this field.” “There will be no oats.” “If you say so. So long as the plow enters the field, I am unconcerned as to whether there are any oats. Only that if there are oats, they do not, in fact, enter the field.” Guy hardly knew whether to laugh or groan. “Arabella, you and I have never been friends, but I have always respected your abilities. So please understand that I speak with the utmost respect when I say: You are dreadful at seduction.” She was proud, and desire and pride could not coexist. Desire was the great leveler, turning emperors into beggars and paupers into kings. “Looking at you is like looking at the night sky. So vast and varied and infinite, the view changing depending on where one stands, or the hour or the season. One can only ever see a tiny bit of it at a time, unbearably, voraciously, insatiably aware that however wondrous the view, there is always so much more.” “I cursed you, you know,” came his low voice in her ear. “I cursed you so long and hard it’s a wonder you don’t have a cloud of locusts swarming around your head. “You started thinking, didn’t you? You and that brilliant diamond mind of yours. But thinking is like walking: If you begin in the wrong place, facing the wrong way, you’ll head in the wrong direction, and end up falling off the edge of the world.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Petra

    ‘Nothing on this Earth will induce me to marry Arabella Larke.’” “I thought you’d like that one.” “I was almost inspired to embroider it on a cushion.” I hope that makes sense even taken out of context. Arabella and Guy are childhood frenemies who were also engaged as children. No other relationship reminds me of dog and a cat than these two people. I loved watching them banter and what a creative banter that was. I also loved watching them fall for one another. In that respect they were like fir ‘Nothing on this Earth will induce me to marry Arabella Larke.’” “I thought you’d like that one.” “I was almost inspired to embroider it on a cushion.” I hope that makes sense even taken out of context. Arabella and Guy are childhood frenemies who were also engaged as children. No other relationship reminds me of dog and a cat than these two people. I loved watching them banter and what a creative banter that was. I also loved watching them fall for one another. In that respect they were like fire and oil. When they were together it was like a raging storm. Mia Vincy writes with a humor and lightness but in between she manages to squeeze in some deep inspirational thoughts. “But thinking is like walking: If you begin in the wrong place, facing the wrong way, you’ll head in the wrong direction, and end up falling off the edge of the world.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    G.

    This is definitely an example of a romance where the heroine is basically the star of the story. I really was happy about that. I will repeat myself, but it would be a crime not to mention how great Mia Vincy is at writing snappy, witty dialogue. It is an absolute joy to read... Even if you don't end up liking the romance very much, which happened here for me. It's not that I hated it, but I wasn't exactly all in either. I think it's mostly because I was very lukewarm about the hero. But that's This is definitely an example of a romance where the heroine is basically the star of the story. I really was happy about that. I will repeat myself, but it would be a crime not to mention how great Mia Vincy is at writing snappy, witty dialogue. It is an absolute joy to read... Even if you don't end up liking the romance very much, which happened here for me. It's not that I hated it, but I wasn't exactly all in either. I think it's mostly because I was very lukewarm about the hero. But that's just my personal issue. Overall: no gold star, but quite enjoyable.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I was really looking forward to this one because I really liked what I’d seen of the heroine and hero in a past book (set chronologically after this one), but I guess that also set some false expectations. They weren’t the couple I saw in that book. They weren’t even really quite there by the end of the book. I don’t know. I liked the characters (well, not the ones I wasn’t supposed to like), but it just didn’t all gel for me. Maybe I’d have liked it better in a year that wasn’t 2020!

  9. 5 out of 5

    HR-ML

    I thought (spoiled) Arabella + Guy were too harsh and sarcastic with each other. The 2nd half was slightly better. Guy acted principled and perfect. Bella mostly responded to impulses, with the exception of her care/ concern for the future of Guy's younger sisters. Bella's dad was wound too tightly & Bella needed to calm down her insides. Hiding her emotions: not a good idea & self-destructive. I felt mostly indifferent to the HEA for the MC. I thought (spoiled) Arabella + Guy were too harsh and sarcastic with each other. The 2nd half was slightly better. Guy acted principled and perfect. Bella mostly responded to impulses, with the exception of her care/ concern for the future of Guy's younger sisters. Bella's dad was wound too tightly & Bella needed to calm down her insides. Hiding her emotions: not a good idea & self-destructive. I felt mostly indifferent to the HEA for the MC.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Vincy has promise, but I am not a devoted fan yet...... The total lack of communication, the stubbornness and pride of the hero and heroine and the inability to listen to anybody ruined this romance for me as did the author's horrible attempt at creating interesting villains. Her bad guys leave much to be desired and again the two villains in this tale were ridiculous and the Baron's portrayal and demise was unbelievably stupid and unnecessary to the plot. Really what was the point? This virgin w Vincy has promise, but I am not a devoted fan yet...... The total lack of communication, the stubbornness and pride of the hero and heroine and the inability to listen to anybody ruined this romance for me as did the author's horrible attempt at creating interesting villains. Her bad guys leave much to be desired and again the two villains in this tale were ridiculous and the Baron's portrayal and demise was unbelievably stupid and unnecessary to the plot. Really what was the point? This virgin worship/obsession and slut shaming in historicals has become a bore, it's archaic. Readers condemn so much but still zip it over this nonsense. A good writer would not pull this crap and should be able to craft a good story without it! As far as the premise I would have enjoyed a more straight forward romance, but that is just a personal observation, many readers I admit really love the angst of the "big miss", but not me, not at all. I also thought the end rather insipid with the heroine watching and longing for the hero and his family across the square after she bolted and the make-up scene and speech just fell flat. There were some lovely moments throughout the book and Vincy's writing talent is on the cusp of being rather better than her contemporaries and once she stops relying on plot devices and cliche cartoon villains and archetypes her books will become gold. I almost didn't read just because of the "content warning". I would prefer that if an author feels the need to explain content or placate sensitive readers, place it in author notes at the back of the book and place some sort of symbol or some "code word" to alert sensitive readers to a contents page that can be ignored or searched out if that is what the reader prefers. Inserting a warning right before Chapter One is off putting JMHO. What I imagined might be after reading "the content note" was much worse than the incidents in the book. So I ask what is the point?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Em Wittmann

    Will provide review for this BRILLIANT book when audio version is available.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Topastro

    3.5 Stars. I liked this but didn't love it as much as I would have liked. Arabella was interesting but the story is bit forgettable.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    I started reading this yesterday in the afternoon, and I couldn't put it down. I stayed up till like 2am reading and now, understandably, I look like a sleep deprived zombie. But the unputdownableness (ha, try saying this five times in a row!) of this book doesn't make it perfect. Arabella intrigued me in A Wicked Kind of Husband and I was quite happy when I found out she'll be getting her own story. She is an interesting heroine, but I'm not sure whether she'll be up to everyone's taste. She's a I started reading this yesterday in the afternoon, and I couldn't put it down. I stayed up till like 2am reading and now, understandably, I look like a sleep deprived zombie. But the unputdownableness (ha, try saying this five times in a row!) of this book doesn't make it perfect. Arabella intrigued me in A Wicked Kind of Husband and I was quite happy when I found out she'll be getting her own story. She is an interesting heroine, but I'm not sure whether she'll be up to everyone's taste. She's always plotting and scheming and thinking ten steps ahead, but it is her way of getting control of her life in a situation where she has little choice. I found that most admirable about her. That for all her manipulation, she really tried to make life better and easier for others, even if her actions painted her in a bad light. Which doesn't mean she doesn't feel things deeply, but she hides it rather too well. And I found that most frustrating about her. The confrontation between her and her father was quite unsatisfying, and I did not accept her father's SUUUUUPER lame apology for all the humiliation and mistreatment that we witness throughout the book. The confrontation serves as a catalyst for a pretty dumb decision Arabella makes in the final 7% of the book, which I must say, totally kicked me out of the story and ruined all the good work she accomplished in opening herself and trusting other people, or at least trusting our hero, Guy. God, how I hate the I'm-leaving-you-for-your-own-good trope. This trope needs to die out! Please, no more!! Guy was a sweetheart, when he didn't have his head stuck up his own ass, where it spent like a loooooot of time. He'd start pulling it out a little bit, but then he'd decide that he liked the interior of his posterior and choose to spend a little more time there. Sorry for the gross visual. Granted, Guy wanted to get to know Arabella, he wanted to understand her, but he was also reluctant to give up his preconceived notions of her character in general, of what he thinks he wants, of what his plans were and so on. He struggles between his prejudice, his desire for Arabella and what he learns of Arabella during the house party (because of course there is a house party), and I actually quite like the tension this created. There is something about the trope where the hero grossly misjudges the heroine that really appeals to me. It was so cute to see how he liked spening time with and getting to know his little sister. I thought a lot about how to rate this book, because I had a good time reading it. I love how Arabella and Guy clashed, they had great chemistry, but the fact is that the story blows hot and cold for too long. With the addition of the much hated trope, the final declarations of their feelings feel rushed and out of place, which makes me an unhappy reader.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gaufre

    Intermittently great. The main characters are complex and well-thought out, fully three-dimensional with fears and hopes and principles. All this made me understand their actions. At first. But they keep doing the same thing over and over. For example, the clashes between Guy and Arabella made for fun, sarcastic dialogues. When Arabella continued her caustic replies, even when he is genuinely asking if she is ok, I start to think that she is treating him horribly. The book is uneven. There are g Intermittently great. The main characters are complex and well-thought out, fully three-dimensional with fears and hopes and principles. All this made me understand their actions. At first. But they keep doing the same thing over and over. For example, the clashes between Guy and Arabella made for fun, sarcastic dialogues. When Arabella continued her caustic replies, even when he is genuinely asking if she is ok, I start to think that she is treating him horribly. The book is uneven. There are great moments but also too many events that do not really help.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    I thoroughly enjoyed this third novel from Mia Vincy, and was pleased that in tone it more resembled the first than the second. I adored Arabella and all her sharp edges, and she reminded me of Leigh from Laura Kinsale’s The Prince of Midnight.

  16. 5 out of 5

    T

    Absolutely magnificent. Love, love, love Arabella! Best heroine ever. And the hero was great too, beautiful couple. Great secondary characters (loved the mother, sister Freddie, the Miss “I like dead things”). Real people! Wonderfully written. Funny, witty, emotional. Only minded the many engagements. I think Arabella was betrothed 3 times?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Wonderful! Mia Vincy has returned to me the love of historical romance. Sure, it's not perfect, but her novels aren't ridiculous with 30 dukes or "lady" who visits brothels. When her heroine makes mistakes, she does it in character for a lady of her time. It has love, romance and a bit of adventure.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Born to Lurk

    ARC kindly provided by the author herself ***Quotes are taken from the ARC version of the book and may differ upon publication This book right here is exactly why I love historical romance. Mia Vincy can simply do no wrong for me, and this series only continues to get better and better. Boy, I read this with a constant grin on my face. "How long would she be haunted by this strange nostalgia for a future she could never have?" Guy Roth has finally returned to claim the title of Marquess of Hardbury, ARC kindly provided by the author herself ***Quotes are taken from the ARC version of the book and may differ upon publication This book right here is exactly why I love historical romance. Mia Vincy can simply do no wrong for me, and this series only continues to get better and better. Boy, I read this with a constant grin on my face. "How long would she be haunted by this strange nostalgia for a future she could never have?" Guy Roth has finally returned to claim the title of Marquess of Hardbury, after 8 years of absence. And Arabella, his ex-fiancee was ready to lay some proposition. When I met Arabella, I was so intrigued. She came across as a prideful, ruthless, cunning, and a little manipulative. And she is all that, and more and once you get deeper into her life, you'd know what made her so. I love the distinct connection they share together. They are obviously opposites but somehow they have what the other needed. "Behind her eyes lay a whole solar system, to be discovered the the man who was brave enough or foolish enough to look" I love the dialogue. It definitely made my heart flutter and for someone who reads a lot, it felt good to read something that's heartwarming. I loved the way their bond developed virtually from mutual dislike to this strong love connection. "Arabella, you and I have never been friends, but I have always respected your abilities. So please understand that I speak with the utmost respect when I say: You are dreadful at seduction." The cameos were phenomenal-Mrs DeWitt and Holly. There were scenes that can be triggering to some, and Miss Vincy, I believe had handled this situation very delicately. Overall, this is a brilliantly penned romance and I can't wait for you to read this! "I regret only that I am not what you want in a wife. Because you are everything I desire in a husband."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Head in the clouds

    One of THE best historical romances I have read in a long long time. It has heart and soul and also depicts what I think is a healthy way to overcome obstacles in a relationship and they COMMUNICATE! There is a meandering path to get to where they end up but they learn from each encounter and reflect and then act differently - what else do you need?! Not to mention the humour - these two are hilarious together and absolutely perfect for each other.

  20. 5 out of 5

    nastyako

    This was glorious. Loved Arabella so so much. She is smart, prickly, proud and lonely. Is she anachronistic? Totally. But it did not bother me here. We do have a miscommunication obstacle but it's totally plausible considering personalities and history of our leads. They are both nice believable humans and these are my favourite types of characters in a novel. Mia Vincy is an exciting fresh and talented new voice in the historical romance genre. P.S. That scene with hairpins was so charged.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I read this book series completely out of order - 3, 1, then the second: but the three stories dovetail so neatly that the order doesn’t really matter. Well written, at times poignant, but also sometimes hilarious: I so enjoyed this novel. Arabella is a unique type of heroine - so controlling and OCD that it takes her awhile to realize she’s her own worst enemy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I enjoyed the third book in this series, A Wicked Kind of Husband, which takes place chronologically after this book but was published two years earlier. This book didn't quite live up to my expectations for a few reasons: - I didn't care for either main character. Arabella was spoiled, hostile, and scheming. Her stunted emotional capabilities caused so much havoc. Her plans almost always ended poorly. I had no sympathy for her. And Guy? First of all - his name. That's the most unsexy name I've e I enjoyed the third book in this series, A Wicked Kind of Husband, which takes place chronologically after this book but was published two years earlier. This book didn't quite live up to my expectations for a few reasons: - I didn't care for either main character. Arabella was spoiled, hostile, and scheming. Her stunted emotional capabilities caused so much havoc. Her plans almost always ended poorly. I had no sympathy for her. And Guy? First of all - his name. That's the most unsexy name I've ever heard. - Why would you introduce a character as interesting as Clara (a gentleman's daughter turned ruined woman turned famed courtesan) only to mention her twice and never bring her back? - The side plots of the Treadwells and Guy's sisters. There were so many scheming characters I could barely keep them straight. Mia Vincy is a good writer. Her characters are descriptive and consistent and she has good pacing. This wasn't great, but I'll read more from her.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Saly

    3.25 stars This wasn't as good as I expected. The romance was a let-down and the hero misunderstood and doubted the heroine at every turn. I wasn't convinced he deserved her.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book and I am so glad I did! Mia Vincy has captured the tortured souls of Arabella and Guy. Promised to each other at birth, both of them fight it every step of the way. Guy returns after an 8 year absence, and once again, he an Arabella are thrown in the same orbit. The banter between the two is great. They both want a family- she wants to recapture the family she had before her twin brother’s death; Guy wants to create the family he never had. This I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book and I am so glad I did! Mia Vincy has captured the tortured souls of Arabella and Guy. Promised to each other at birth, both of them fight it every step of the way. Guy returns after an 8 year absence, and once again, he an Arabella are thrown in the same orbit. The banter between the two is great. They both want a family- she wants to recapture the family she had before her twin brother’s death; Guy wants to create the family he never had. This book twisted my heart. There were times I wanted to strangle Arabella for the things she said! She built such a wall around herself. But their HEA does happen and one finds themself cheering for them!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mclaudia

    Sadly, while the author's writing is as strong as ever, this book didn't work for me. It's hard to say why -- perhaps I've never truly cared for the heroine or the hero, so the ups and downs of their relationship (mostly downs) bored me. Perhaps the plot felt too... circular? I barely know because this book seems to have been erased from my memory as soon as I finished it, making no lasting impression. My least favorite of the series so far.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pgchuis

    I received a copy of this novel from the author. This was well-written and some of the banter between the heroine, Arabella, and the hero, Guy, was very entertaining. At other times it was more like unkind sniping. While I liked both Arabella and Guy, they did spend the entire novel seeking out new and more complicated ways to misunderstand each other or tell each other only part of the truth or say the opposite of what they really meant, and it got quite tiring. There were a number of dastardly I received a copy of this novel from the author. This was well-written and some of the banter between the heroine, Arabella, and the hero, Guy, was very entertaining. At other times it was more like unkind sniping. While I liked both Arabella and Guy, they did spend the entire novel seeking out new and more complicated ways to misunderstand each other or tell each other only part of the truth or say the opposite of what they really meant, and it got quite tiring. There were a number of dastardly secondary characters, and endless scheming and lying and threatening, which again became rather exhausting. Many of the actions taken by characters seemed extremely unlikely (Clara and Sculthorpe) or positively impossible for an honourable man in such society (Arabella's father and even Guy). Still, if you just go with the plot and accept everything that happens, this is a fun story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cleo B

    I cannot say I loved this book for its quality - frankly I didn't notice. I was too in love with the fact that in Arabella I felt so seen. She is proud, clever, scheming, loving, and scared of rejection in a way that echoed so deeply with me that I just adored this book. That aside, it's actually a really good book. 1. We see a love story where there is no insta-love... boy, oh boy, is there no insta-love. Both our leads see the other, acknowledge attractiveness and then detest each others' perso I cannot say I loved this book for its quality - frankly I didn't notice. I was too in love with the fact that in Arabella I felt so seen. She is proud, clever, scheming, loving, and scared of rejection in a way that echoed so deeply with me that I just adored this book. That aside, it's actually a really good book. 1. We see a love story where there is no insta-love... boy, oh boy, is there no insta-love. Both our leads see the other, acknowledge attractiveness and then detest each others' personalities. 2. Our leads have so many preconceived notions, which actually do make sense, even as they make you want to bash your head against a wall, and then we watch as they slowly slowly work through them and learn 3. Our heroine is what many would call a shrew. She is not tamed. She finds a man who understands when to laugh at her outrageousness, when to back her, and when, very rarely, to urge her to reconsider some of her more violent tendencies. 4. Very limited angst-for-the-sake-of-angst, such that the issues our leads deal with are real, and they genuinely overcome them (instead of the usual heroine solves hero's problems by being a faux-counsellor) 5. Unexpected funny moments which just make everything. No context spoiler: (view spoiler)[ Kidnap the vicar!! (hide spoiler)] 6. I loved the reversal of having (view spoiler)[ the love scene right up front (but not for insta-love reasons, see Point 1) (hide spoiler)] after which we watch them slowly fall in love Read it. Just read it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Viper Spaulding

    Phenomenal regency romance! I haven't enjoyed a regency romance this much since the last book by this author. The characters are divinely developed, with layers upon layers of charisma and introspection. The plot is complex and intriguing, the supporting cast is diverse and fully-realized, and the underlying message (that women's rights were so negligible as to relegate aristocratic women to a hothouse form of slavery) is just pronounced enough to make its point. The author's exquisite use of lan Phenomenal regency romance! I haven't enjoyed a regency romance this much since the last book by this author. The characters are divinely developed, with layers upon layers of charisma and introspection. The plot is complex and intriguing, the supporting cast is diverse and fully-realized, and the underlying message (that women's rights were so negligible as to relegate aristocratic women to a hothouse form of slavery) is just pronounced enough to make its point. The author's exquisite use of language to portray Arabella's true feelings makes this book required reading for any fan of the genre. Guy and Arabella are fire and ice together! Promised to each other from infancy, they each wanted to defy their controlling fathers by choosing their own matches. Circumstances beyond their control, partnered with society's rigid protocols, spin their hate you/need you dynamic wildly out of control. Throughout it all, their banter is deliciously, wickedly hilarious while at the same time their interactions inadvertently give them insights into each other's secret thoughts and priorities. The first seduction is absolutely fraught with tension, filled with manipulative intent and battleground strategies, yet leaving each of them feeling as though they won the battle but lost the war. Arabella's pride is her only form of self-defense, and what seems to be a game of chicken is really just a desperate plan to avoid complete ruination and destitution. What she sacrifices, both physically and emotionally, to free herself from a fate truly worse than death was as heartbreaking as it was horrifying. There are so many highlight-worthy passages in this book! This author is uniquely gifted with prose, with dialogue, with character development, and with conveying the simplest feelings as profound philosophy. I took much longer than usual to read this book because so many passages begged to be read again and again, to be relished and absorbed completely before moving onto the next scene. Arabella and Guy are each heroic in their own way, devoted to their friends and family despite what other people may think. The completely innovative solution to the problems that kept them apart was surprisingly simple and wholly effective. It perfectly cleared out all the what-ifs and what-abouts that clouded their motives and cast doubt on their future stability. The HEA was victorious, glorious, and beautifully satisfying. If you haven't read any of Mia Vincy's books yet, you're really missing out. This one is every bit as good as the first two; perhaps even the best of the three. If you read historical romances at all, you owe it to yourself to read this one. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Well, none of this was what I wanted. Which is a shame since I ~loved~ Arabella in the other books and what we saw of Guy there was great, too. But none of that carried through here. Instead of great dialogue (one of my favorite parts of the series to this point!) there was a lot of them both being in their own heads and thinking they should say something to the other person but never actually saying it. Sometimes that works in book, but in this case it was very frustrating, especially since I a Well, none of this was what I wanted. Which is a shame since I ~loved~ Arabella in the other books and what we saw of Guy there was great, too. But none of that carried through here. Instead of great dialogue (one of my favorite parts of the series to this point!) there was a lot of them both being in their own heads and thinking they should say something to the other person but never actually saying it. Sometimes that works in book, but in this case it was very frustrating, especially since I already had glimpses of how Arabella interacts with people. The other thing was that there were so many other people involved! Why was it necessary to have an engagement to another suitor, a proposed marriage of convenience to another, AND an "understanding" between two other people swirling around them? I honestly just wanted to see them working together and I got them being thrown from one terrible circumstance to the next instead. I think what it all comes down to is that Guy and Arabella are both good characters—I even still mostly enjoyed them together—but this story isn't doing anything for them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette

    Boy, this was a solid 3.0. As much as I enjoyed the other books in this series, but this one was so slow getting started that it became tedious. I do like a slow burn romances but this was just annoying. Very disappointing. There is suppose to be a 4th book in the series, I’ll certainly give it a go but I find the series so far to be very uneven. Too bad, there is so much that is right about these stories but sadly it doesn’t always hang together.

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