When the man she was in love with is expecting his first child with his new wife, Lady Freyja Bedwyn leaves the neighborhood for Bath. On her way there, Joshua Moore (who has lately inherited the title of Marquess of Hallmere) runs into her bedchamber to escape a pair of blackmailers. Freyja looks at him down her aristocratic (read: gigantic) nose and tells him if he doesn't leave, she'll scream. He mocks her and says she wouldn't dare expose herself to gossip in that way. Freyja promptly screams the inn down.
And that is why Freyja is the best. Because she does what she wants, or thinks is right to do, and damn the gossip. When she thinks he's molested a servant girl, she openly calls him out for it in the middle of the Pump Room, at full volume. And when she realizes she's wrong, she apologizes, just as openly. I'd liked her in other books in the Bedwyn series, and this book just cemented my love. I had a harder time appreciating her romance. I just don't enjoy historical romances where the hardass lady meets her match. Just once, I want a man to submit to the dominant, stubborn, high-handed heroine.
The minor murder mystery plot is pretty shallow, and is resolved far too easily. I want more plot, less boring het-sex, dammit! (And really, how much p-in-v sex do I have to read? Seriously, every single sex scene Balogh has written
is: gentleman fingers lady, notices how very very wet she is, thrust thrust thrust, then they both come and lie around panting and cuddling. If you're going to write several sex scenes a book, please god get a little variety in there!)
Trigger warning: contains incestuous sexual abuse, including that of a minor and of a developmentally disabled minor. It's not graphic or detailed--it's all in the past, and the perpetrator is dead--but it talked about.