A Season of Ruin
by Anna Bradley
I have quite mixed feelings about this book, but overall, I liked it and really enjoyed reading it.Summary: Lily Somerset's plan for the London season is simple: courtship, marriage to a respectable gentleman, then the comfortable existence of a proper Lady. That is, until one tiny misstep leaves Lily on the edge of social ruin, forcing her to depend on a wicked rogue to save her reputation.
Robyn Sutherland doesn't save reputations-he sullies them. He'd rather be drawn and quartered than find himself spending the season as Lily's escort. But he has no choice but to stay until her tattered standing is mended.
What begins as a ruse to deceive London soon flames into an uncontrollable passion. Robyn calls to the wild spirit that lurks beneath Lily's prim exterior, and Lily awakens the hero's heart within Robyn. But can these unlikely lovers trust themselves enough to let desire overrule reason?
When I'm in a reading slump, regency romance is my go-to genre of choice. It's fun (usually), it's fast-paced (most of the time) and predictable (but in the very best way)...and this one ticked all of those boxes and it was exactly what I needed to put me in a reading mood again.
My issues with the book were mostly to do with the male love interest. Robyn... I did like him as a character, but in the first maybe two thirds of the book, his romantic scenes with Lily really pushed the limits of consent (and I know, I know, it was a different time period but still) and his chapters were a bit OTT with his attraction to her (it felt like 80% of his chapters revolved around him being perpetually aroused by the thought of her).
The last bit of the book did make up for it though and he was way more respectful and intent on making sure she wanted things (and vocalised it) before doing them but the first part did have moments that were very "your mouth says no but your body says yes" which does happen a lot in the genre and plenty of people are fine reading it (or even love that, which is fine) but I'm not really into that trope.
But, in spite of that, I did speed through the book in two sittings and was pretty much hooked from the start. It's not the best of the genre that I've read (Megan McCafferty and Eloisa James are still my favourites) but I liked it enough that I'm planning to check out more of Anna Bradley's books (I think I'll need to go back and read the first in this series, I really liked the characters and I didn't realise this was the second when I requested it on netgalley, but it worked just fine as a standalone).
I'd rate the book 3.5 stars out of 5. It's definitely a series worth checking out.