The Lady Tempts an Heir
Grade : A

Harper St. George knows how to write spine-tingling romances that make you feel like you’re soaking in a warm bath while sipping from a glass of delicious red wine. The Lady Tempts an Heir is no exception, and will attract anyone who likes brooding men and smart, uncompromising women.

Max Crenshaw is an American businessman and ironworks heir who wants nothing to do with the marriage game, having watched his younger sisters placed on that great chessboard so they could play the social game and marry into the English aristocracy. With the two of them comfortably married off (see the two previous books in the series) - although not in the ways and to the men their father anticipated, it’s now Max’s turn to meet his match. He plans, however, on defying his ill father’s edict to find a bride and secure his inheritance by finding woman who’s willing to fake an engagement to him in exchange for a fee.

Lady Helena March, a young widow, is the perfect candidate.  She and Max like and respect one another, and the recent dire financial straits she’s entered into make the idea of being paid to fake an engagement seem quite appealing.  Instead of concentrating on conjuring up a second marriage for herself, Helena has turned to charitable matters.  The London Home for Young Women supports all of those ‘unsavory’ types that Regency society hates – ie: poor, ‘fallen’ women.  With no donations coming in, Helena is becoming desperate for a way to support the house as the funds from her first husband’s estate are dwindling down to nothing.

So entering into the bargain Max suggests seems like the perfect solution.  Helena will get enough money to keep the charity running, while Max will pretend to be engaged to a woman he actually likes, respects, and is attracted to – and they’ll both get their hectoring families off of their backs.  It’s a great business arrangement – until their feelings interfere.  How will Max react when he learns the terrible truth about Helena’s first marriage?

The Lady Tempts an Heir puts another feather into St. George’s cap, and is the strongest of the Gilded Age Heiresses series with this fine historical romance about two people who genuinely like and respect each other.  Max and Helena are two strong and smart, principled people who come to love each other a great deal.

Max has a (fitting) spine of iron and comes to stand for what’s right, be that during a labor dispute at the ironworks or when Helena’s family becomes unduly pushy about her chosen lifestyle.  Helena truly loves working at the charity and doesn’t see it as a merely way to pass her time. She and Max share a teasing, slow-burning fire filled with mutual pining, and are trapped in the claws of their own plot, eventually happily.

The lively society in which they live springs to life wonderfully; St. George knows how to research and apply it. You get to see August and Violet again as well. No bonus points if you figure out Helen’s big secret early in the book; it’s in the handling of it that St. George is unique and exemplary.

The Lady Tempts an Heir is an early front-runner for one of the best romances of 2022.  It has longing, it has fire, it has people you’ll like and solid research.  There’s not a false step between its covers.

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Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : A

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : February 21, 2022

Publication Date: 02/2022

Recent Comments …

  1. Having that problem too – just now, hugely enjoyed Spite House by Olivia Dade, m/f CR done wonderfully. Strong rec.

  2. I really didn’t think you were criticising anyone, so we’re good! There was a discussion on AAR some time ago…

  3. But, queer romance are as real to me as non-queer, so I still don’t understand your thinking. I still want…

Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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