In the latest in Bradley’s series on the highly eccentric Worthington family, Bliss Worthington plans a secret wedding to the Duke of Camberton, only to discover, too late, that the groom is in fact the duke’s illegitimate half-brother. Undeterred, Bliss sets out to persuade Captain Morgan Pryce to grant an annulment. Does she not, after all, pride herself on the “ruthless patience” that lies beneath her “air of placid composure”? As is often the case in Regencies, however, the unlikely pair find themselves falling in love as they grow to realize how well-suited they really are.
Bliss is a delightful heroine, using charm, shrewdness, and unexpected resourcefulness to further her aims, whether it be cleaning house, cooking up mouth-watering meals, doctoring wounds, or battering a thief into submission with a brick inside her reticule. As the story progresses, however, it becomes increasingly melodramatic; the focus upon the lovers’ physical preoccupation grows repetitive; and though fans of the series will enjoy meeting her many unusual family members and friends again (including the indomitable Attie), and some interesting newcomers for good measure, the presence of so many minor characters does distract from the main plot. Recommended, nonetheless.