Started out well, light and fluffy... Liked the writing style too, up until the last 2 chapters where this really silly misunderstanding happened and ruined it for me. It seemed that people were listening to what they *wanted to* and assumed things that weren't there. My head hurt from all the eye rolling I did.
I was pretty sympathetic to Henrietta at first. It seemed she had really annoying sisters, not to mention an overbearing mother, who have gone out of their way to make her feel uncomfortable in her own skin. She had little self-confidence and stuttered like no other, all from the stress of various responsibilities as the eldest of 3 daughters; the latest would be about "saving her paternal home" from being transferred to the current Earl of Amhurst. That'd be Simon, the H. Her mother and sisters were just... ugh! They probably didn't mean harm but they went about everything wrong, always reminding Henrietta in one way or the other that she had no attributes to "catch" a man. Henrietta likes to play with herbs and make salves and poultices; a very "unsuitable hobby" as per her family. Seriously???! But up until those last few chapters I didn't even think she was a complete doormat; so easily manipulated, believing people over the man she <i>thought</i> she was in love with. :-s
I liked Simon but not sure why he was called the Black Earl. There was nothing sinister about him at all. And the poor guy was being managed by his so-called "best friend" Setterfield so badly that I had this urge to shake him to see the truth and scream while doing it too! Damned Setterfield was a total creep all through the story, even if the author tried to make him look like a innocent party in the end. Anyone making horny eyes at a 15 yrs. old girl is a creep IMO when I know he must be around Simon's age; somewhere in his early 30s. He stepped in where he had no business of doing so and almost ruined Simon and Henrietta's relationship in the process because he thought it was "for the best" for all. I don't even know how Simon forgave him... just like that!
Setterfied was also the one who wanted to marry Henrietta. It's one of the reasons why I found his interference suspicious until the end when the author decided that's not going to work as one of the h's younger sisters, Albina, had set her eyes on him... which means he'd be the "hero" of one of the later installments? Mmm, no thanks. And Sarah, Henrietta's other sister? I have no interest of reading her story after what she had done in this one. Dumb b!tch!
3 stars. Had potentials but disappointed me.
Note: connected to The Duke's Obsession.