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All's Fair in Love and Debauchery*

Coming Home Again

This book is part of The Inheritance Clause series. I had already read Minerva’s story, so I was familiar with the premise. This series does have an excellent concept, by the way. Their grandfather has died, and rather than will his heirs their money directly, he requires his grandchildren to perform a task to his lawyer’s satisfaction. These tasks are highly individual and meant to challenge the particular person. Clearly, the grandfather has known each grandchild well and wants each of them to find hidden strengths and talents. Theo, the hero of this book, appears to have the most straightforward task. He just needs to go back and stay at his country manor house, the seat of his marquessate. He hasn’t been back since his wife’s death; it is filled with too many bad memories.

Go back he goes, as he wants his inheritance to prop up his foundering estate and keep it out of the hands of a reviled relative. His ward, Lucy, who has lived on the estate this whole time, is no longer the young teenager he remembers; she is now a young woman. In his absence, she has gradually taken on the role of mistress of the house, not just handling household details but taking care of matters on the estate along with the steward, settling disputes among the tenants and the like. She is determined to stay in the house; not knowing any better, she fears he is there to marry her off. She loves his home and wants to stay there and remain in charge of it until he remarries.

The author did a fantastic job showing Lucy’s motivations and fears. She has no clue that Theo now sees her as an attractive woman. He’s trying to distance himself from her because he doesn’t feel his attraction towards her appropriate, but she sees his actions as disapproval of her and what she has done for his home estate. She wants to do nothing more than impress him with all that she’s done so that he’ll let her stay. Her insecurities, especially because she is doing such an excellent job of running his estate, are endearing.

Will Theo accept his changed feelings towards his ward and let her know? Will they continue to grow as he comes to know her? How long will she fear being married off and sent away?

I enjoyed the previous book in this series and found this a delightful read as well. If you enjoy Regency romance, you might find this book–and the series–as delightful as I do.

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