Title: The Trouble with Honor by Julia London
The Cabot Sisters Book One
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Passion and scandal collide in New York Times bestselling author Julia London’s brand-new series about four sisters determined to rescue themselves from ruin…
Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home—and their place on the pedestal of society—to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.
An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.
The Trouble with Honor, the first novel in Julia London’s The Cabot Sisters series, is a delightfully charming historical romance. This sparkling gem is full of appealing characters but it is the fun storyline and deliciously steamy encounters that kept me captivated from beginning to end.
With her stepfather’s rapidly failing health and her stepbrother’s impending marriage, Honor Cabot devises an outrageous scheme to save her family from financial ruin. Her mother’s swiftly deteriorating health is the impetus behind Honor and her sister Grace’s fears for future of their small family and Honor enlists the aid of George Easton to help convince her stepbrother’s fiancée to reconsider her upcoming marriage.
Honor is in her early twenties and having had her heart broken in the past, she has steered clear of romantic entanglements so it is easy to believe she is frivolous and a little shallow. But lurking behind Honor’s carefree exterior is a very determined young woman who is fiercely devoted to her loved ones. Stubborn, headstrong and quite feisty, she is also very kindhearted and quite loving. Honor cares deeply for her stepbrother, Augustine, but she also knows how easily manipulated he can be by his fiancée, Monica. It is her desperation to protect her mother that drives Honor to devise her plan to come between Augustine and Monica but Monica is surprisingly resistant to George’s charms. And then there’s the matter of Honor’s surprising attraction to George…
The illegitimate son of a chambermaid and a Duke, all George has ever desired is to be accepted by society. He has achieved a measure of success by investing in risky ventures and for much of the novel, he is on the brink of financial ruin when his latest undertaking appears to have gone awry. While George may not be entertained in polite society, he is quite popular with the ladies, and in fact, he is a bit of a rake. But he is a rake with a conscience, and at first, he is quite hesitant to woo Monica from Augustine. But Honor is pretty persuasive and since she does not want George to actually seduce Monica, George reluctantly agrees to go along with Honor’s plan.
George and Honor are wonderful protagonists and I really enjoyed watching them match wits. Honor is certainly a force to be reckoned with and George is certainly up to the task of resisting her manipulations. The chemistry between them is palpable and their scenes are underscored with a delicious sexual tension.
The plot of The Trouble with Honor is refreshingly unique and the characters are well-developed and likable. George and Honor are wonderfully imperfect with insecurities and flaws that are easy to relate to. Julia London adroitly avoids the usual romance clichés and even the “evil” secondary cast of characters is appealing and sympathetic. A truly enjoyable read that leaves me eager for the next installment in the Cabot Sisters series.