Another great read from Julia Quinn. I love physically flawed heroes! Not only is Hugh disabled, he questions his worth as a man. He questions whether he is good enough for his heroine. All of these things are more reasons for me to love him. And love him, I did, despite the stupid mistake that got him into this position in the first place.
Hugh has an affinity for numbers. He is brilliant with them, so much so that when he lost a card game one drunken night years ago, he was sure his friend Daniel had to be cheating in order to win. He promptly challenged his (also drunk) buddy to a duel, bringing about two life changing events. One, he got shot in the leg, damaging the bone and muscle for life. And two, his father blamed Daniel, running him out of town with threats to his life.
Daniel’s return to society was all part of the last book, but now it’s Hugh’s first real opportunity to reconnect with his old friend. And he does it over the course of two family weddings –Daniel’s (from A Night Like This) and Honoria’s (from Just Like Heaven.) It’s all a bit awkward, but it gets even more so when he is paired with Lady Sarah for the duration. Sarah is Daniel’s cousin and blames Hugh for the heartache and scandal the family endured while Daniel was on the run for his life. But Honoria asked her to keep Hugh company, so she is doing her best to please the bride.
The relationship between Hugh and Sarah is so adversarial and witty and fun. She hates his guts and has treated him abominably. He doesn’t just take it though. He gives as good as he gets, and over time, they grow to enjoy their banter. Eventually, they even begin to see the good in one another, and after that, attraction and deeper feelings take the forefront. I loved the moments each of them realized their attraction. I loved how they fought against it, but lost so thoroughly.
I also loved how Hugh’s disability was portrayed. How it affected him both physically and emotionally. How he blamed himself for all of it. Sarah, on the other hand, was a little more hit and miss for me. She was a bit immature and over the top, especially in the beginning. But she did get better over time. And ultimately, I was very satisfied with the progression of her romance with Hugh. Especially when all that sexual tension came to a head!