I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
After a sick childhood, Anwen is used to being fretted over and cosseted. However, when the orphanage and boys she's dedicated her time to are in financial straits, her inner fire is about to be seen by all.
Colin never wanted to be a duke's brother and learning how a lord is supposed to act is wearing. Discovering Anwen is not the quiet shy miss everyone thinks her to be, though, has him intrigued.
Anwen and Colin will fight for what is right while discovering the strength of each other.
Second in the Windham Brides series, we're immerged back into the author's regency London. There are, of course, Windham's flittering about but nothing overwhelming enough to keep a new to the world and series reader from starting here. The previous book stared the sister and brother of our main couple, so while they were introduced, their romance starts here.
"You are a bonfire in disguise," he said, smoothing a hand over her hair. "An ambush of a woman, and you have polite society thinking you're the quiet one."
Anwen is the shy and quiet sister who everyone tries to mother because of a frightening childhood sickness that almost claimed her life. She was sweet and kind but I enjoyed how she delighted and took strength from Colin telling her he enjoyed her inner fire. A hero that sees something in the heroine that no one else has payed attention to never fails to capture my heart. Colin was just as sweet as Anwen and sympathetic in his willingness to try and adapt to ton life. They come together as friends who slip comfortably into more as their chemistry prompts their friendship to develop into love. It's a graceful falling in love and I admit to missing a bit of dramatics as the middle slowed a wee bit for me.
Our villain and who Colin and Anwen must both struggle against, was a frenemy to end all frenemies. As the author stays pretty true to the time period, I found myself frustrated at how sedate or proper our couple must act toward him, when I really wanted them to give the frenemy a strong boot to the backside. Everyone is levelheaded and sane; you won't be reading this for the drama but rather for a charming story of two misplaced souls finding each other.
I enjoyed the supporting cast of Windhams and orphanage boys who add immensely to the world and story. The epilogue is so complete; you won't help but happy sigh after reading it. Colin is above all else a good guy, Anwen's shy but inner fire will inspire you, and this tender story will pleasantly pass the day away. This story is ultimately about finding that one person who sees you truly for who you are and loving you because of it.
I'm looking very forward to the next in the series starring Anwen's older sister and a certain recluse duke.