Book 2 in the Jaded Gentlemen series
Author Grace Burrowes
Narrated by James Langton
Pubkished by Tantor MEdia
Publication date Jun 27, 2017
Running time 10 hrs
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Theresa Jennings strayed from the path of propriety as a younger woman, though now she’ll do anything to secure her child’s eventual acceptance on the fringes of polite society. Theresa will even make peace with the titled brother who turned his back on her when she needed him most.
Matthew Belmont is a widower who’s been lonely too long. He sees Theresa as a woman paying far too high a price for mistakes long past, and as a lady given too little credit for turning her life around. Theresa is enthralled by Matthew’s combination of honorable intentions and honest passion, but then trouble comes calling, and it’s clear somebody wants to ruin any chance Theresa and Matthew have for a happily ever after. https://tantor.com/matthew-grace-burrowes.html
Grace Burrowes looks to the application of double standards by a man who had sex with his wife before marriage and his sister who had a child outside of marriage. It asks her brother the question both obliquely and directly. This leaves him a little shaken but will it be enough that he stops being an ass?
With Matthew — an accepting, forward-thinking man — Theresa has found a gem. He’s even on the fox’s side in the hunt. But there is a mysterious cloud casting shadows on his future; casting doubt on whether he even has a future. If they can’t get beyond that there’s much to be said for the couple. And, of course, they are a couple I was rooting for.
Now, in historical fiction no man wants to hear that his sister is promiscuous. But, Thomas not listening to the whys and wherefores of his sister’s reputation pisses me off. He doesn’t seek to learn why his sister ended up as she had. One aspect is that her parents were absent and or uncaring. It gives responsibility to parenting for the morality of the child. I don’t know if that is how it usually works but it gave me something to think about.
So we have Theresa, an essentially good woman, and a good sister with a history of sexuality. And we have Matthew, a nice widower whose wife was of the same reputation. But, Matthew accepted his wife’s issues; and his position as magistrate has given him the training to look at all sides of an issue and to look deeply. The truth when it all comes out is shocking and twisty.
It all offers up a lot of interesting ideas about double standards and second chances for Matthew and Theresa as romantic partners but also for the sibling relationship between Thomas and Theresa. It also brings up how bastardy was approached in that period and how utterly arbitrary this twist of fate is. Punishing a child because of the circumstances of his or her birth is ridiculous.
James Langton has a great voice for this series, consummately British, and with an amused edge as if there is a punch line coming.
I enjoyed this one and felt it is a lot deeper than one might think a Regency romance would be.