Only a Duke Will Do (Pocket) by Sabrina Jeffries is up first. Louisa North and Simon Tremaine, Duke of Foxmoor, shouldn't be a viable couple. Not after their disastrous past. But Simon can't let go of his feelings for her, no matter how foolish. This one is enjoyable, though not a keeper for me. It reminds me of another story I've read in the recent past, but I can't recall which one. It takes rather a long time for Simon and Louisa to get through their difficulty, though at some points, the slow pace is a nice change from some of my other more recent reads. Jeffries fans will love this one.
Simply Love (Delacorte) by Mary Balogh is next. Anne Jewell had planned to spend the summer with her son at Miss Martin's School for Girls, her place of employment. But the cousin of her child's father extends an invitation she finds difficult to refuse, especially in the face of her son's excitement. When they arrive at the home of the Duke of Bewcastle, she intends to stay out of everyone's way for the duration. Her hosts have other ideas. And the estate steward, Sydnam Butler, is too enticing to resist, despite his disfiguring scars, leftovers from the Peninsular Wars. This is a truly wonderful story, with two very wounded--physically and mentally--characters who need to do a lot of healing in order to reach their happy ending, and with a few unexpected twists along the way. I hated to turn the last page when I got to the end of this one. It's a real keeper, and a book I expect to revisit in the future. It's earned four and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!