For exactly one season, Lady Charlotte Wentworth played the biddable female the ton expected — and all it got her was society’s mockery and derision. Now she’s determined to be in charge of her own future. So when an unwanted suitor tries to manipulate her into an engagement, she has a plan. He can’t claim to be her fiancé if she’s engaged to someone else. Even if it means asking for help from the last man she would ever marry.
Ethan, Viscount Amesbury, made a lot of mistakes, but the one he regrets the most is ruining Lady Charlotte’s reputation. Going along with her charade is the least he can do to clean the slate and perhaps earn her forgiveness. Pretending to be in love with the woman he’s never forgotten is easy. What isn’t easy is convincing her to give him a second chance.
Titles in the Misfits of Mayfair series include – Any Rogue Will Do – West End Earl –
Title: Any Rogue Will Do
Series: Misfits of Mayfair #1
Author: Bethany Bennett
Genre: Regency Romance
Published: October 13, 2020
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
My Rating: 4 stars
I’m always excited to read a new-to-me author, especially when I’m enjoying a debut novel from an author who will go far if this first book is any indication. Any Rogue Will Do is the beginning of the Misfits of Mayfair series and quickly captured both my interest and my undivided attention. Charlotte and Ethan felt very real, I could easily imagine these events happening to them (for the most part), and watching how their unusual romance would play out was a fascinating adventure.
Years ago, a younger Ethan would find himself a newly-inherited Viscount from a family branch he knew nothing about. To go from a sheep farmer to the land of the ton in London was quite a shell-shocking experience. Of course, it all went to his head and he indulged in all the things he knew better than getting involved with. One changed the life of his friend, the other ruined the reputation of a woman who had done him no harm… but he had done so much damage with a few words carelessly spoken, words neither she nor the ton would easily forget. Once again, Ethan became a changed man overnight. He could not undo the damage he’d done to either his friend or the young woman, but he could walk the straight and narrow from that day onwards. He never thought to run into Charlotte again as he avoids London these days, but a quick trip to the city for estate business will have them crossing paths once again with far different results.
In her first season, Charlotte had been humiliated and essentially ruined by a man she soon came to despise for his words that took away her possible future so carelessly. She retreated to her family’s estate where after her brother’s death, soon followed by their mother’s death Charlotte took control of the estates from her grief-stricken father. It turns out she has a knack for managing things and would have continued without regret if her father hadn’t suddenly set grief aside and proclaimed he was arranging her marriage to an odious, vile person. Charlotte was having none of that, and with her newfound skills sets out to find herself a fake betrothed – for it’s impossible to accept an engagement when one is already spoken for. Her logic seemed perfect until she once again ran into Ethan under the most unusual circumstances. It didn’t make sense, he should be her last choice but Ethan owed Charlotte, he was perfect for her fake relationship, and she was about to set events in motion that she’d be unable to change, nor would want to… eventually.
I adored Ethan, even when he was behaving badly I understood why he was taking such risks. And does this man ever know how to give a proper apology! Charlotte I liked but it took longer for me to warm up to her. Perhaps some of that was how she needed to be portrayed, but I really needed to see some emotional growth from her before I really came into her corner of this story. Watching them, years later, slowly come together was quite the adventure. And talk about adventure – the dangers that will be faced are quite real, and the villain most vile. There is definitely a lot of steam between Charlotte and Ethan, and I’ll admit that was the part that I didn’t really believe for Charlotte’s reactions seemed (to me) unlikely in that time period from a woman who’d never even been kissed. Yet, each reader will view that differently so it’s simply an opinion.
Overall, I enjoyed Any Rogue Will Do very much and look forward to returning to this world again in 2021.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in paperback and for your favorite e-reader. Mine is the Kindle and that link is below.