When Kieran instigates a huge scandal for his family, his father threatens to cut him off unless he finally buckles down and finds himself a respectable wife. But these kinds of ladies are in short supply in Kieran’s life, he turns to his best friend’s sister, Celeste for help. In return for introductions to respectable society, he will introduce her to the seedier side of London that he frequents.
Celeste breaks out of her gilded cage as “Salome”, as Kieran escorts her around London. They both face intense pressure from their families to marry, and marry well, Kieran with the threats from his father, and Celeste’s self-made father has high expectations of her too, to cement their place in society by marrying a titled lord. A useful plot device, but confusing. Celeste’s family was already accepted in high society – her brother was set to marry an Earl’s daughter, his best friends are titled, and Celeste receives all the best invites – which both seemed unusual and unbelievable, as well as made Celeste’s prospective marriage superfluous.
This was a bit of a slow burn, but the chemistry between Kieran and Celeste was potent. I really enjoyed both of their characters, and their interactions together. They were both developed beautifully. And the dirty talk was delicious.
After reading this book I’m really excited for the rest of this series. There are some great side characters, and the scenes between Kieran, Finn, and Dom were especially funny.
This was a trope-tastic romp: best friend’s sister, forbidden love, forced proximity, reformed rake, and quid pro quo. But, it felt original, well developed, and I really liked the setup of the plot. Some people thought it was a slow start, but I was hooked from the beginning and found the story to be well-paced and cleverly done.