Lady Diana Farren is practically alone as she continues her grand tour around Europe. Because her sister married in secret in France, Diana is left to savor the art, history, and culture of Rome with only her governess, Miss Wood, for company. Unlike Mary, Diana has no interest in any of those things. She likes men–and that is why she was shipped off to Europe in the first place. Now, she is pursued by a fortune hunter on one hand, and an Italian rake on the other…
Lady Diana Farren was barely introduced in The Adventurous Bride, the first book in this promised trilogy. In my previous review, I complained that author Jarrett failed to develop Diana enough to make me interested in a book about her. However, I was intrigued by how a romance of this period with a heroine who is neither a widow nor pure as the driven snow would work. This question was enough to get me to check the book out of the library.
Unfortunately, Jarrett backtracks. Apparently, Lady Diana is actually a virgin and her reputation is not completely deserved. Yes, she is impulsive and flirty, but not the hoyden she was in the previous book. This character transplant is frustrating and disappointing–I preferred the promiscuous Diana to the one who has to be schooled in erotic love.
Antonio di Randolfo, the hero, is equally disappointing. An outrageous rake (but not really that bad!), he semi-stalks Diana. He cannot help but be more appealing than the pompous, half-drunken, devious, fortune-hunting alternate love-interest.
The plot is so flimsy that it doesn’t bear discussion. It is composed of a series of events that are not necessarily linked sensibly. The character chemistry is mediocre, and the love scenes are less interesting than those of Mary Farren in The Adventuress Bride.
Not recommended. I doubt I will try the third book in the series, if it ever comes out.