The Lady Tempts an Heir by Harper St. George

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

True Partners at Last

“”Why don’t you want to marry now, Mr. Crenshaw? You’re the right age; you’ve mentioned a desire for children.”
“I’d like to take my time and find the right woman. I want a union of mutual respect and affection, someone who can be a true partner to me instead of an ornament at my table and on my arm. An equal. I’m prepared to wait for such a woman.”
She parted her lips to respond, but no words were forthcoming. Perhaps she was losing her grasp on reality, but the position of his wife suddenly seemed very appealing.”

With tantalizingly steamy bedroom scenes and witty, intelligent dialogue placed on top of a detailed, well-researched historical backdrop, The Lady Tempts an Heir was a very enjoyable read with a couple whose love story is very easy to believe in. Lady Helena March is a wealthy, young English widow who champions the unpopular cause of “immoral” women–unmarried pregnant women, that is. Mr. Maxwell Crenshaw is a deliciously attractive American tycoon who manages to perfectly balance alpha-male authoritarianism with a shockingly progressive belief in women’s equal status with men, and the obligation to protect society’s more vulnerable.

When Max requires the appearance of an engagement, his sisters’ dear friend Lady Helena seems the ideal choice for a fake fiancee. Should he fail to produce a would-be-bride, his domineering father will penalize his sister, August, by thwarting one of her plans for the family business–solely because she is a daughter. Max is thus a likeable hero, standing up not only for his own sisters but for Helena’s “immoral women” and their offspring.

Helena and Max met in an earlier book, but their connection in this story grows quickly and I did not feel like I was missing anything having not read the earlier books in the series (though my interest is now piqued).

But my favorite part of the book was the way in which Harper St. George highlights her heroine’s infertility and does not shy away from less commonly discussed topics in a romance novel. In her first marriage, Helena learned she could not have children and her husband was understandably disappointed–but less understandably very cruel to her after that. The book touches on marital rape, infertility, divorce, and there is no sudden miracle cure where the couple winds up with children in an epilogue. Personally, I find this refreshing as an HEA without children is absolutely possible and the norm for many.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the early review copy of this book!

Steam Level: Bedroom scenes so well-written they should win an Academy Award! fans self

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