>> Tuesday, January 28, 2003
Late one night, young Evelyn Cummings Whyte bumps into Justin Powell as he exits a married woman's bedroom. Evelyn agrees to keep silent about the indiscretion, and Justin is left in her debt. Now, ten years later, Evelyn calls in the favor. Ever since her aunt eloped to France, Evelyn has been trying to keep Whyte's Nuptial Celebrations running smoothly, and now has one last chance to keep the company solvent. A wealthy American client insists on holding her second wedding at North Cross Abbey, which just happens to be Justin's ancestral estate. Justin agrees to let Evelyn use his digs on one condition: he'll be on the premises. Thinking that the wedding offers the perfect cover for his plan to ferret out a dangerous enemy spy, Justin quickly discovers just how challenging, yet enjoyable, it is keeping Evelyn unaware of his real plans, and out of danger.What a beautiful, delightful book! An A+. It's difficult to write about an A+ read without gushing like a crazed fangirl, so I'm not even going to try. :-D Here goes: I enjoyed every word of it. I actually read all of it with a smile on my face, even LOLing quite a few times. This is really the type of humor I adore.
And Justin! One of the best heros I've read in ages. Wonderfully funny and adorable, and so, so sexy! I loved his courage and the fact that he accepted being considered a useless parasite by everyone as a cover for his very heroic activities. And the way he fell for Evelyn... oh, so romantic! And how he wanted to protect her but still accepted her help in unmasking the spy. I even enjoyed the way he spoke while doing his "useless Justin" persona. I must say, he spoke just like some of the MM Kaye characters!
Evie was great too, but every other character just paled next to Justin. She was a teeny bit too much of a stereotype, the heroine who believes she's ugly and noone will ever love her. But I forgive her ;-)
After Justin, my favorite character has to be Beverly, the mysoginist butler. OMG those scenes with Justin! I just love humor which tickles my sense of the ridiculous.
I even loved the spy subplot. Brockway was able to keep a very convoluted situation simple, and the dénouément was delightful. Like Christina Dodd's My Favorite Bride, told in the villain's POV, and very funny. Hmmm... there are actually quite a few things in common between those 2 books, from the titles to the spy subplots. Completely different stories, but a couple of coincidences. Aren't these 2 authors friends, or something?
This is the way a light, funny historical should be done. Period.