Series: Lively St. Lemeston #1
Genres: Historical, Romance, Historical Romance, Regency
Political intrigue could leave his heart the last one standing...alone.
Nick Dymond enjoyed the rough-and-tumble military life until a bullet to the leg sent him home to his emotionally distant, politically obsessed family. For months, he’s lived alone with his depression, blockaded in his lodgings.
But with his younger brother desperate to win the local election, Nick has a new set of marching orders: dust off the legendary family charm and maneuver the beautiful Phoebe Sparks into a politically advantageous marriage.
One marriage was enough for Phoebe. Under her town’s by-laws, though, she owns a vote that only a husband can cast. Much as she would love to simply ignore the unappetizing matrimonial candidate pushed at her by the handsome earl’s son, she can’t. Her teenage sister is pregnant, and Phoebe’s last-ditch defense against her sister’s ruin is her vote—and her hand.
Nick and Phoebe soon realize the only match their hearts will accept is the one society will not allow. But as election intrigue turns dark, they’ll have to cast the cruelest vote of all: loyalty...or love.
Warning: Contains elections, confections, and a number of erections.
Lerner’s historical was a total hit.
My Thoughts on Sweet Disorder
Rose Lerner is a new-to-me historical romance author, and Sweet Disorder definitely won’t be the last book of hers that I read. If all her books feature characters with strong growth arcs, I’m all over that.
At first glance, Nick is a pretty typical lordling, struggling with his injury and post-war life. His mother packs him off to go help his younger brother win an election. From the start, it’s obvious there are issues between Nick and his mother, but it goes much deeper than that, and is part of Nick’s growth as a person throughout the book.
Phoebe is a widow (and a refreshing break from the more common virgin heroine) and barely scraping by. When her late husband’s vote in the election becomes key, she’s courted (literally) by both parties. Only she must marry to make the vote count. She refuses… until it becomes apparent that she has to marry. (For reasons.) (Read the synopsis.)
There are a lot of reasons why Nick and Phoebe don’t (or shouldn’t) work, and not just their own personal struggles. And yet somehow, they can’t stay away from each other. I loved watching Nick and Phoebe come into their own and learn how to stand up and stand strong for themselves, even as it pushed them apart.
As if the characters (both the main ones and side characters) weren’t good enough, the elections in this story only added to the uniqueness. (How often do you read about elections in Regency? Never. Can’t wait to pick up the next book in the Lively St. Lemeston series!