Dear Ms. Alexander:
I think I’ve read a book of yours before but I honestly can’t remember. Your name is familiar, at least. The familiar name and the blurb sold me on this book. The premise of this story is a widow who was enjoying her widowhood rather than the virgin widow which is about my least favorite plot device.
Lady Judith Chester has been widowed for 10 years. During that time, she has enjoyed discreet liaisons with a few gentlemen. Judith’s previous marriage has made her determined not to love again for she loved her first husband but is scarred by his death.
Gideon Pearsall, Viscount Wharton, and three of his friends make a bet as to who will be last to wed. They all acknowledge that they must wed, but would rather do so later than sooner. Gideon has already been married, briefly. His marriage ended badly as well and thus is sure to the be last to fall.
One evening Judith and Gideon connect and something sparks between them. Initially Judith and Gideon agree to have an affair, one that will end amicably between the two when their time together comes to an end, as both agree that it must. The first half to two thirds of the story is Judith and Gideon spending time together, getting to know each other in bed and out.
The tone of the book is lighthearted and there is alot of fun to be had. Gideon’s friend plays a great prank on Gideon with the help of Judith. Gideon and Judith both excel at social discourse. The scenes with Gideon and his friends talking about relationships and just contemplating life were some of my favorite.
There were two basic problems I had with this book. First, after after the initial meeting, the relationship between Judith and Gideon had more tones of a friendship than a love affair. During the moments of intimacy, Judith and Gideon would engage in conversation and not in a playful sexy manner, but in a manner no different than if they were standing in a ballroom. Second, the resolution of their internal conflicts dragged on for much too long. The last third of the book consists of Judith and Gideon lying to themselves, their friends, and each other about their true feelings for each other leading to tiresome misunderstandings and separations. B-.