Who knew that tying a cravat, playing cards, and getting your hand kissed would be so sensual, intimate, and erotic?! This book had me at it's first paragraph. I stayed up until 330 this morning to finish it.
Emma and Roderick first meet behind a curtain, both in hiding from different people. It's dark and neither exchange names, but each knows enough to later identify the other. Emma's responsible for her 2 younger sisters. Prior to that, she was the primary caregiver for her sick mother. Then a caregiver, of sorts, for her father. He dies and leaves a huge gambling debt. Roderick is despised by society because of his conception (he's a bastard), but at the same time sought out for advice/insight for investments. His family and home is his employees and gambling business.
I adored both Emma and Roderick. Both Emma and Roderick are smart, confident, empathetic, supportive, and loyal. Roderick was not an Alpha-hole that is so popular in many romances. He is much more Beta and that's a wonderful thing. I loved the slow build of their romance.
This is a bit different from other historical romances in that Emma finds a job; as a bookkeeper. I liked her mathematical skills. Neither are titled. I also liked how Emma decided to pay off her father's debt. There's more that happens in regards to that. Emma's sisters, Portia and Lily are also likable, as are Roderick's employees.
The reason for the 4.5 (instead of 5, because I did adore this book- and it should be noted I don't give 5 stars out often) is I would have liked to know what happened with Hale. Portia and Lily's stories are also left unfinished. There does look to be a book 2 (oh geez not until November!) that I assume might be one of the sisters.
eARC courtesy of NetGalley and Sourcebooks.