Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Secrets of Charlotte Street #1
Published by NYLA on July 31, 2018
Genres: Adult, BDSM, Historical Romance
He’s controlled. Meticulous. Immaculate. No one would expect the proper Duke of Westmead to be a member of London’s most illicit secret club. Least of all: his future wife.
Having overcome financial ruin and redeemed his family name to become the most legendary investor in London, the Duke of Westmead needs to secure his holdings by producing an heir. Which means he must find a wife who won’t discover his secret craving to spend his nights on his knees—or make demands on his long scarred-over heart.
Poppy Cavendish is not that type of woman. An ambitious self-taught botanist designing the garden ballroom in which Westmead plans to woo a bride, Poppy has struggled against convention all her life to secure her hard-won independence. She wants the capital to expand her exotic nursery business—not a husband.
But there is something so compelling about Westmead, with his starchy bearing and impossibly kind eyes—that when an accidental scandal makes marriage to the duke the only means to save her nursery, Poppy worries she wants more than the title he is offering. The arrangement is meant to be just business. A greenhouse for an heir. But Poppy yearns to unravel her husband’s secrets—and to tempt the duke to risk his heart.
Scarlett Peckham is a new-to-me author who I found at the library when I was, *ahem* looking for another duke. (Do I need to specify which duke I was looking for?!? LOL) I’m happy to have made SPeckham’s acquaintance though as I enjoyed The Duke I Tempted. I found the story to be well-written overall and I’ll happily be continuing the series.
Poppy Cavendish is an orphan nurserywoman whose spent the last decade of her life ensuring her independence. Marriage is the last thing on her to-do list. So upon meeting the Duke of Westmead and his sister, Constance, the attraction she feels towards the Duke is highly inconvenient. Spending time in close proximity while planning the greenery and flowers for his upcoming ball is more than problematic.
Archer Stonewell, the Duke of Westmead, has brought his family through scandal and near financial ruin owing to his father’s proclivities. He’s also experienced traumatic loss. To deal with all the emotion he feels compelled to keep contained, he works to the point of obsession. He also partakes of certain special services offered on Charlotte Street.
Watching as Poppy and Archer fall in love was exciting and frustrating in equal measures. The banter between them was fiery and fun as Poppy never filtered herself and Archer found that particular personality trait refreshing. I admired SPeckham for delving into loneliness and its repercussions in this story. Both Poppy and Archer are lonely – Poppy by circumstance, Archer by design. How loneliness affects their personalities and interactions – especially further into their relationship – was realistically and heartbreakingly conveyed. However, it also led to my frustration with them. Of course, as there weren’t marriage counselors in the last 1700’s, they did the best they could. And naturally, as was proved, honesty is always the best policy.
The taboo element featuring Charlotte Street was interesting. I don’t know how realistic the outcome of that story line was but it is a feature of the series and I’m intrigued to see where else SPeckham might take it.
Outside the romance, SPeckham also provided a secondary cast that has me curious – particularly Constance. Therefore, I will continue with the series. I’m curious to know Constance’s story as well as whether or not SPeckham delivers more on the promise of her talent as a storyteller.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: