Series Name: Ladies Most Scandalous, # 3
“My dear Miss Delamere,” Langham said. “I should hope that I am not just any man. Because I have known from the moment we met that you are not just any woman.”
And never taking his eyes from her, he lifted her hand to lips. Poppy felt the gaze as surely as if he’d run a finger down her spine.
Another swoony and fun installment in the Ladies Most Scandalous series!
England, 1867: Miss Poppy Delamare is living a lie. To escape an odious betrothal, she fled to London where she’s been hiding as the unassuming secretary Flora Deaver. However, when her beloved sister is accused of murder, Poppy cannot leave her to the wolves. Only a most unexpected—and unwelcome—collision interrupts her journey home . . .
Despite a rather dismal first meeting, Joshua Fielding, the Duke of Langham, has no intention of abandoning a lady in need. But he’s not above asking a favor. A fake betrothal will give Poppy and her sister the power of the dukedom and protect Langham from the society misses intent on becoming his duchess.
Yet the longer the ruse goes on, the more Poppy and Langham realize how false their first impressions were—and the less pretend their engagement feels. But before Langham can propose in truth, their search reveals a tangled web of lies and betrayals. With time running out, can Poppy and Langham find the real culprit—before Poppy becomes the next victim?
This series keeps on getting better! I fell in love with Poppy and Langham in the last book. The chemistry between these two characters was oh-so witty and delicious. I always get a little weary as a book series progresses because I’m afraid things will become stale or repetitive. That isn’t the case with this series. Once again, Manda created this unique swoon-tastic historical romance with an interesting and entertaining mystery component. I devoured this book in a couple of sittings. It starts with a bang and keeps readers engaged until the end. The chemistry between Poppy and Langham was everything I could ever want, and I was so happy with the direction Manda went with their love story. This book takes place right after the wedding of Carol and Val (this happened during the second book). Poppy has to leave London in a hurry because her sister has been accused of murdering her husband. On her way to her sister, Poppy literally bumps into Langham, who agrees to help her clear her sister’s name in exchange for posing as his fiancé.
I really need to gush about Poppy’s character. She quickly became my favourite character in this series. I loved the sharp and smart wit she possessed. While posing as Langham’s fiancé, she finds herself thrown into this viper’s nest of upper-class women who are not pleased with her engagement to Langham. She masterfully handled herself with them, and I loved how she never tried to change who she was or was ashamed of her past. She knew her worth and didn’t give a damn what these women thought. Langham was everything I had dreamed he would be. On the outside, his character had this swoony standoffish upper-class feel. But when he was with Poppy, those walls started to come down, and we saw a more vulnerable side to his character. I loved the conversation between Poppy and Langham about how he can talk about vulnerabilities with her, which won’t negatively affect what she thinks about him. Seeing more male characters having this more vulnerable side to them is great.
The mystery component in this book was really interesting, and I am always amazed at how Manda creates these mysteries that keep me guessing until the very end. The overall story almost has that Bridgerton feels to it. In this book, we get to spend a lot more time with the upper class, and there is plenty of gossiping and scheming, especially regarding securing a certain duke’s hand in marriage. It was just a fun overall read.
If you are a fan of fake engagement and forced proximity tropes, you will love the romance in this story. I enjoyed the fake engagement parts in this book. It was delightfully fabulous watching Poppy and Langham try and navigate this fake relationship with each other. There were plenty of smouldering moments between them, and I had to keep reading because I wanted to know when they would finally kiss. I loved the growing depth of their relationship through the more personal and open conversations that Poppy and Langham were having.
A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes is an addictive story with a swoony romance and brilliant characters.
Thank you, Forever, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.