A Good Kiss is Hard to Find
For years, Kitty Fairwell was stuck on her family’s gloomy estate. Now, she’s started the life of her dreams in London society, dancing at the finest balls and flirting with the most handsome bachelors. She’s even attached a gentleman who seems to adore her—even if his kisses for some reason leave her cold.
But when her friend is seduced by a blackguard, Kitty won’t hesitate to put friendship first. Hiding Louisa in the countryside also gives Kitty the opportunity to catch up with her beloved (if extremely grumpy) brother… and arrange his house to her satisfaction.
The life she wants is back in London. So why, every time she talks to her brother’s estate manager, does the country suddenly sound so tempting?
Seven years ago, tragedy struck John Stanger’s life. Needing to start fresh, he took a commission in the Army. He should have known that the gentlemen in the upper ranks would never accept a cloth merchant’s son as their equal.
At the bloody battle of Albuera, he saved his friend Ned Fairwell’s life. When Ned invited him to manage his estate, he saved John’s soul. Ned isn’t always the most charming man, but their loyalty to each other is unshakable.
John wouldn’t endanger his newfound serenity for anything. Especially not the tempting kisses of his best friend’s little sister…
I’ve been in a reading slump for the past month, and this amazing book shook me out of it. So thank you, Augustine Lang! Haha 🙂
I adore this book. If you’ve been following my reviews, you know that I’m a sucker for a best friend’s sister trope, and Lang delivers beautifully.
Kitty is someone I’d definitely want to be friends with. She’s bookish, she’s loyal, she’s funny, she examines her thoughts and actions and does what she believes to be right even when it’s hard… I kind of adore that nobody in this book is really classically/conventionally handsome/beautiful (except Louisa, and it’s more of a burden than a blessing for her). It makes them so much more real to have attractive elements as well as “flaws” in their appearance, like Ned’s balding spot and scar or John’s invisible eyebrows. It’s a refreshing change to not have all of the main characters be super beautiful for a caricature of a bluestocking, but instead just real people. And it allows their inner beauty to really shine through and speak for itself.
The interactions between John and Kitty are pretty amazing, and I do love a man who falls for a woman he feels he can’t have while she’s quasi-oblivious. There’s a fair amount of heat and sexual tension between them, but no on-page sex (though there is some making out), and mostly I just really REALLY adore their playful banter and the way they just fit. Also, the other relationships in this book are just *chef’s kiss*. There’s the complex sibling relationship between Kitty, Ned, Will, and their other siblings; Ned and John’s friendship; Kitty and Louisa’s friendship, how her loyalty to Louisa effects her other friendships and relationships; Kitty’s relationship with her fiance… OH! There’s also apparently a novella for Percy, which I am thrilled about since he seems like such a nice gentleman.
Also, I was already shipping Ned and Louisa within MOMENTS of them meeting, so I was THRILLED when I checked out Augustine Lang’s website and saw that the third book in the series, Foolish Hope, is about Ned and Louisa! *gleeful little goblin dance* I do wish we’d gotten a little more of Louisa; we see so little of her that her complex and multifaceted character comes off as being a little disjointed. I’m really looking forward to getting to know her better in book 3. I’m also going to need Will’s book stat, because I’m basically in love with him, don’t tell my spouse, kthxbye.
This is the first book in the Fearless Fairwells series, and can be read as a stand alone. …But you’re going to want more once you finish this one, because the side characters are SO GREAT.