More Than You Wished
It felt like it had been a while since I read an American Historical Romance, so after many lords, ladies and contemporary characters, I’m very glad I asked to review More Than You Wished, the second book in the Hamilton series. I enjoyed it very much, and I hope you’ll find it as satisfying a read as I did.
Lucas Dearborn Kincaid sits across from his prospective employer, wondering how long it will be until he’s shown the door. Bria Hamilton is going through the motions, but she really doesn’t mean to hire him. First, he’s a Yankee; second, she suspects that her stepfather Orrin Foster might have a motive to get Luke hired at their decaying Concord estate, which was once a thriving plantation known as Henley. Much to his surprise, and thanks to some clever machinations on Bria’s part, Luke is hired to restore the estate beyond the superficial fix-ups Orrin has been content with, and is plunged into the battle of wills between Orrin and Bria, who has her own agenda when it comes to restoring Concord.
While Luke may not go along with her plans, Bria finds in him someone willing to listen to suggestions, and despite her best efforts at suppressing the attraction she feels for him, Bria can’t help but be drawn to this stranger who inspires a trust she has not felt in a long time. Eventually she trusts him with what is so important to her: regaining Concord back from Orrin, and a long-held and painful secret of her own. When Bria proposes marriage to Luke, only as a temporary arrangement until Concord is won back, he accepts, both to help her right many wrongs that have been done to the Hamiltons, and because he already loves her, and he has an agenda of his own – and it concerns Orrin Foster.
The tense atmosphere around Concord reflects the time period. Orrin may not be wearing a white hood himself, but his connection to the Klan means that any revenge he might wish to take on Bria will mean harm for others at the estate, knowing how much she cares for them. Despite her claim that she cannot feel anything, Bria has both sharp reactions and deep emotions, both good and bad, and the times she does lash out reflect the suffering she’s endured. In his quieter way, Luke feels as strongly about correcting what wrongs were done years ago, and can be just as underhanded as Bria to get what he wants. Luke’s treatment of Bria is especially endearing, and it is heartwarming that Bria comes to not only to accept his love, but appreciate his tenderness.
Although More Than You Wished is not a keeper for me, it is definitely a solid and entertaining story, well paced and told in a manner that kept that pace going. I enjoyed reading about Bria and Luke, and wish there were going to be another installment in this series. Instead, author Goodman informs us she’s next off to Regency England. Having enjoyed this book as much as I did, I’ll be there with her.