Series: Sons of Sin #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Forever on 27 August 2013
Reading Challenges: 2014 Antique Reading Roadshow
I’m a bit of a fan when it comes to geeky Regency females so I devoured this book. Genevieve Barrett is tired of ghost writing all of her father’s scholarly works and decides to publish her research on the Harmondsworth Jewel under her own name. A charming would-be thief tries to nick it and Gen quickly realises the miscreant is none other than her father’s new student. All is not what it seems however.
Gen possesses a keen mind and in a more contemporary society she would be lauded for it. Her father, however, is keen to maintain the status quo and emotionally blackmails her. Unsurprisingly, Gen is devoted to the blackguard and is genuinely torn about whether to publish under her own name or not. She manages to fight off the advances of her father’s patron with far more equanimity than I thought possible.
Sir Richard Harmondsworth is technically his father’s heir as his parents were married when he was conceived. Unfortunately for him, his father was out of the country at the time and so there is no possibility of him being legitimate. He has been relatively successful in maintaining a devil-may-care persona as a way of deflecting society’s disapproval but the Harmondsworth Jewel proves his undoing. The jewel has always been kept within the family and he hopes owning it will prove he is worthy of the title.
The character tropes are fairly standard for this genre – a misunderstood aristocrat and a bluestocking girl – but Campbell executes them really well so Gen and Richard never come across as two dimensional leads. The romance between the two resembles a rather complicated dance as they carefully circle each other looking for openings in each other’s defences. The witty barbs they throw at each other are worth the price of the book alone. I appreciated the fact that Gen in particular didn’t lose her intellectual streak once she started to fall in love as many other historical heroines are wont to do.
This book is best enjoyed slowly so you can appreciate the humour and warmth that Campbell has injected.