The Greatest Lover Ever
I’m not exactly sure how The Greatest Lover Ever earned its title. Picking it up, I assumed it would be the story of yet another one of London’s most famous rakes. Someone who’d had scores of women and built up a reputation for himself. To the contrary, however, this is the story of two people who were once in love, and how they find their way back to one another.
Georgiana (Georgie) Black is a twenty-four year old, self-proclaimed spinster whose only real desire is to keep her younger sister Violet from being ruined before the poor girl can make it to London for a Season. Normally, this isn’t too hard, but Violet recently ran off to a wild house party which would shatter her reputation for sure, should anyone discover Violet had attended. Poor Georgie is stuck running after Violet in an attempt to bring her home before anyone discovers her presence. Georgie assumes it will be simple to rescue one innocent young girl from a decidedly scandalous masked ball.
Unfortunately, this task is not at all easy. Georgie’s troubles start when she runs into the host of the ball, and they escalate when said host deposits her in the bedchamber of Marcus Westruther, Earl of Beckenham, also known as Georgie’s ex-fiancé. The two have not seen much of each other since their engagement ended six years ago, and so are unprepared to deal with the reality of facing each other again.
In other words, Georgie and Beckenham discover they still desire each other quite a lot
This discovery sets a whole train of events into motion. Beckenham decides their encounter at the ball has compromised Georgie, and so he begins to pursue her, determined to finally get a ring on her finger. Georgie, however, is stubbornly opposed to the renewal of their engagement — not because she hates Beckenham, but because she’s being blackmailed into staying away from him. And of course she couldn’t just tell Beckenham about the blackmail — where would be the fun in that?
Instead, Georgie decides that Beckenham should take Violet for a wife, since he can’t have her. This, as one would expect, makes absolutely everyone miserable. It almost made me miserable too, but since I enjoyed Christina Brooke’s writing and I genuinely liked Georgie and Beckenham, I decided that I didn’t mind how over-dramatic their story got toward the end. Yes, Georgie spent far too long being a martyr and attempting to stay away from Beckenham by shoving her sister at him. However, more annoying heroines have made far more infuriating choices. The Greatest Lover Ever may not be destined be one of my favorite books, but I liked it well enough, and I’m certain that anyone else who enjoys Ms. Brooke’s writing will do the same.