The Pride of a Gentleman (Cousins of the Aristocracy #2)

Linda Rae

Couples Gregory and Christiana Grandby, James and Sophia Simpson, Todd and Deborah Vandermeer and Thomas and Emma Wellington descend into a world of expectancy and presumption among London's society. The Grandby's honeymoon take them to Italy during their house renovation, while the Simpsons renovate their townhouse and desire to embark on a new venture —parenthood. Todd Vandermeer is offered a new position and Deborah is expecting their first child, but when Thomas Wellington shows a set of new colors, his jealousy emerges and he suspects Emma and Thomas of being more than just work colleagues. Things begin to spiral downward while, long-time friendships and family bonds are put to the test.

"The Pride of a Gentleman" begins in a rather unique style with quick introductions, but soon dives  into each couple's playful and intimate love scenes while whetting the reader's appetite for more romance yet to come. It is also apparent that keeping each couple and individual separate will take some time and effort by the reader. There is an elaborate and intriguing network of dynamics connecting the characters that is notable. A darker tone is set briefly when things escalate to jealousy, abuse and revenge, changing the course of the novel from the romantic and light-hearted story that it began as. However, this may not deter readers at all, as by this time the characters have managed to wriggle into a spot onto the reader's good side. Still a delightful story of friendship, family and love.

Margaret Faria