Series: Millworth Manor (Book 5)
Swim naked in the moonlight
Play in a high stakes card game
Ride an elephant
Be painted sans clothing.
Take a lover. . .
Lucy Merryweather has inherited a fortune--and her great-aunt's list of unfulfilled wishes. What better way to honor her memory than by accomplishing as many of them as possible? And with Lucy's family an ocean away in New York, nothing stands in her way--if one ignores the private investigator hired to spy on her.
Yet Cameron Effington is infuriatingly difficult to ignore. . .
As a reporter, Cameron is always looking for a good story. An American heiress running rampant between Millworth Manor and Mayfair is the perfect subject. Not to mention captivating. And extremely kissable. And if Lucy believes he's a detective? Well, the truth should never get in the way of a good story--or hinder delicious, impetuous passion. . .
Fun book. Lucy made her first appearance in The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding, as the non-fiancee of the hero Jackson. I really liked her there and looked forward to reading her story. When the book begins, her family has gone back to New York, leaving her in the care of Jackson's mother. What her mother doesn't know is that all the people who are supposedly in charge of Lucy have gone off on their own business, leaving Lucy very happily on her own. Jackson makes a last ditch effort to protect her reputation by insisting she hire a companion before he too goes off on his own adventures.
Lucy has spent her life living up to everyone else's expectations. Now that she has her own money and is away from everyone else, she has plans of her own. She is going through her great-aunt's list of regrets and plans to do them herself, and she doesn't plan to let anyone or anything stop her. I loved her conversation with her newly hired companion and the agreement they came to. I loved Lucy's determination and her confidence that she would succeed. I did think she was a little naive about some of the risks. In spite of that, she was also really intelligent, and I loved some of her methods of accomplishing her goals.
Cameron is the youngest son of the Effington family and has been searching for his own place in the world. He finally found it in working as a reporter for one of the lesser London newspapers. His father isn't too happy with his work and challenges him to take the next step. The scene at the family dinner table is pretty amusing, especially considering the straightlaced marquess is the same man in Let It Be Love, and his own story is anything but proper. Cameron takes his father's challenge, but is at a loss as to how to meet it, until he hears about the American woman and her plans. He figures he will follow he around and use her for inspiration for a series of fictional stories. However, things don't go quite as he planned.
I loved their first meeting, as Lucy spots the strange man who has been following her and calls him out - after he comes to her rescue. She jumps to conclusions about who he is and he doesn't correct her, figuring it doesn't really matter. I loved seeing her talk him into helping her with her quest, and how he agrees for his own purposes. Over the next few weeks they grow closer. Cameron becomes more and more intrigued, fascinated and attracted to the young woman who is so different than anyone else he has ever known. Lucy is equally fascinated and attracted, though she is also somewhat wary. In spite of what she feels, she's certain that he is hiding something from her, and she doesn't want to give her heart where there is a lack of trust.
As their adventures went on Cameron became more aware of the fact that the secrets he was keeping were liable to cause trouble once they were revealed. He knew he had to tell her, but he kept putting it off, afraid of her reaction. And the longer he waited, the harder it got, because the deeper he fell. Lucy was falling for him too, but her worries over what he was hiding kept growing. When she found out one part of his deception she was at first angry, then hurt. She kept waiting for him to confess, even as she gave him several golden opportunities. When the final confrontation came, both of them made mistakes that had me wanting to shake them both. Then pride kept them apart when they should have worked harder to listen to each other. I loved Cameron's reappearance and his methods for winning Lucy back. They were unorthodox, but because it was Lucy, they worked. I loved his big moment at the end.
As usual in a Victoria Alexander book, there were quite a few laugh out loud moments. I loved Lucy's various adventures, from riding the elephant to her invasion of the gentleman's club. There were also some great scenes with Cameron and his brothers, and their opinions of what he was doing, not to mention his conversation with Lucy's four brothers at the end. I hope to see books for Cameron's brothers and Lucy's in the future.