It just didn't hold my interest. I stopped reading at page 97, & skipped to page 297, & still didn't miss a thing. I usually enjoy Ms. Bradley's books, but this one was just blah to me. Maybe I was just having a blah day, so you'll have to make up your own mind on this one.
Good story about two people who want to do what is best for their families. Elektra feels that it is up to her to marry well and help restore her family's fortunes. She has one man in mind, but when she discovers a recently returned to England lord staying at the same inn she is, one who knows nothing about the reputation of her family, she comes up with the idea to kidnap him. But things don't go quite the way she planned.
Aaron has come home after ten years away, ready to make peace with his grandfather. All he has to do is show his grandfather that he's no longer the irresponsible man he used to be. Unfortunately for his plans, his encounter with Elektra has him tempted back to the wild side.
Aaron can't believe he's been kidnapped and is convinced the young woman is quite mad. He convinces her that he's actually his valet, gaining his release. In spite of his reputation, he really is a gentleman, and can't leave Elektra and her cousin to make their way to London alone, so still posing as a servant, he escorts them on their journey. Being a Worthington, nothing Elektra does could be uneventful, and their trip has its challenges.
I liked Aaron. Since being banished ten years earlier, he has put aside his wild ways. He's determined to show his grandfather that he has changed and is capable of taking his rightful place. I liked the way that he took care of his valet when he was taken ill, and enjoyed the conversations between them. I also liked the way that he took care of Elektra the night of the kidnapping. I liked how his protectiveness extended to making sure she and her cousin Bliss made it home safely. What he doesn't expect is to be so attracted to her, and that has him very worried, because getting involved with her could ruin everything. On the journey to London, and after their arrival, he begins to realize that she isn't actually mad, she just has a unique way of carrying out her plans. He sees that she is sacrificing so much for her family, and they are blind to it. There's a great scene where he tries to explain things to her brothers, but they are still oblivious. When Aaron realizes that she has found her way into his heart, he knows he should leave her alone, because his scandalous past isn't going to help her cause. The revelation of who he really is creates more drama, and he has to decide if loving Elektra is worth the problems it may cause.
Elektra was quite a character. She had great plans for how she wanted to help her family, but her Worthington impulsiveness had her abandoning those plans to kidnap Aaron. When that didn't turn out the way she wanted, she went back to the original idea, but first she had to get back to London. It was fun to see her work her magic on Aaron to get him to accompany them. There was something about him that made her feel safe. The more time she spends with him, the less she wants to follow through on her original plans. When she realizes that she loves him, she faces the fact that marrying a servant isn't going to help her family, but that they would support her. When the truth of who he is comes out, she feels betrayed, and considers accepting another's proposal.
I loved the final scenes, as Aaron makes his decision on what he wants for his future. What he did then was so "Worthington" that it was obvious he would fit right in. I also liked how the truth of the scandal came out. It was great to see how he tried to keep his word about maintaining the secret, but Elektra's ability to understand the male brain (as she reminds him "I have five brothers") has her figuring out the truth. The icing on the cake was facing his grandfather together and how that worked out.
The secondary characters were also wonderful. I liked the scenes with Elektra's brother Lysander. He is such a complicated man, dealing with the after effects of the war. I ache for him and his unhappiness. It is going to take a special woman to help him through the darkness and I'm really looking forward to his story. The youngest Worthington, Atalanta (Attie) is still the strangest one of the family. She is very intelligent, but doesn't seem to have a moral compass. She doesn't like the idea of her siblings marrying and moving away and has come up with some harebrained ways to stop it from happening. It is going to be very interesting when it comes time for her story. There is also the ever wonderful Mr. Button and his assistant Cabot, and the wonderful gowns they create for the ladies. Their own story is sweet and heartbreaking as they want the same thing, but fears keep them apart. I hope there will be more of them in future books, and that things will eventually work out.
"With This Ring by Celeste Bradley 2014
(Wicked Worthington's Series)
The Worthington's stories are all fun to read and Elektra, the middle daughter's story is no exception. Electra got it in her head that it was up to her to save the Worthington name and Worthington manor. How? By Marrying a very, very rich Duke or Earl. One whose reputation is without scandal.
She was asked by her parents to go and meet up with a second cousin, Beth, who they felt needed to share Elektra's season. Elektra had saved and saved for this season and did not want to share it with this unknown cousin but went to meet her at a designated Inn as her parent's request (guilt trip)
But what did she find at the Inn but a Lord, and Earl! The next day she saw his coach leave and decided she would save herself the trouble of a season by kidnapping him, getting herself compromised by him and marrying him. How hard would that be?
But the man she kidnapped told her she had made a very big mistake....he informed her he was not Lord Aaron Arbogast, heir to an earldom but the lowly Mr. Henry Hastings.
What she doesn't know is that he really is Lord Aaron Arbogst. Thus the fun begins. Happy Reading!