Griffin Steele, the most notorious scoundrel in all of London, has a bit of a problem. An infant boy has been delivered to his door with a cryptic message to keep him safe, and Griffin knows for certain that he isn’t the father. While he waits for an old friend to identify the child’s family, he must deal with the presence of a spinster summoned to serve as a nursemaid.
Justine Brightmore knows that she has to be careful when she enters the home of Griffin Steele. She’s well aware of his reputation and the trouble it can cause for her. Marriage shields her from the gossip. However it only brings Justine closer to a man she’s quickly falling for and who’s intent on getting her into his bed.
I struggled to get through the first couple of chapters because of the period language. I understand that the author wanted to establish the setting, but it seemed really thick to me. Once I got used to it, though, the story flowed so well that I had trouble putting the book down.
Justine and Griffin struck me as more realistic than a lot of other romance heroines and heroes who are just characterizations of stereotypes. Justine as a spinster isn’t at all confident when she’s being romanced by Griffin. Her doubt was much more obvious than I usually see, and I really enjoyed that. Griffin seemed to have more of an edge than other heroes. I never felt quite sure that he would ever show Justine his softer side.
The chemistry between Justine and Griffin had me rationalizing that I could read just one more chapter before putting the book down. Of course I ended up reading another chapter and then one more. Though that chemistry alone couldn’t have kept me so interested. The way that the secondary characters, especially the prostitutes, added a layer of realism to the world. They each had such interesting personalities that I didn’t feel like they were just included to move the story along.
Overall, this would be a great book for someone who enjoys historical romances that include an interesting mystery.
Confessions of a Royal Bridegroom by Vanessa Kelly will be published by Kensington Books as a paperback on April 5, 2014.
**I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.