Publisher: Pocket Books Romance
Released: January 2010
Source: I purchased this book to read
The oldest of the scandalous Sharpes—five hell-raising siblings tainted still by the gossip surrounding the “accidental” deaths of their parents two decades ago-—Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, like his brothers and sisters, has lived life on his own terms. In his case, as an unrepentant rakehell. Or so life had played out until Grandmother Hetty got a bee in her bonnet. Now the five Sharpe siblings face a daunting ultimatum: Marry by year’s end—or kiss their inheritance good-bye.
Oliver vows to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style—by bringing home a fake fiancé from a brothel! But his scheme backfires when he foils a robbery and rescues an American beauty instead. Maria Butterfield came to London to find her missing fiancé, but her prior engagement won’t stop Oliver from getting what he wants: Maria in his bed. His rebellious charade may just call Hetty’s bluff, but not before it become all too real—stirring up a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.
The Truth About Lord Stoneville is the first book in Sabrina Jeffries’ latest series of books. Being a long time fan of Sabrina Jeffries, I snapped up the first book when it hit the shelves and sat and read it in one (long) afternoon!
Sabrina Jeffries fans may recognize that Lord Stoneville is a character from the School of Heiress series. (I heard an interview where Ms. Jeffries talks about how many requests she got to write Lord Stoneville’s story)
Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville is the eldest of 5 siblings who lost their parents early. He and his siblings are raised by their grandmother, Hetty Plumtree. It is now 20 years after the day that the parents died. The death was the great scandal of the time, but the actual details of the day their parents died seems to be somewhat of a question. Oliver, as the eldest, bore much of the scandal. He was sent away to boarding school – and we readers of historical romances know how nasty boys at boarding school can be!
Oliver’s grandmother, Hetty, is tired of waiting for her grandchildren to marry and has decided to issue an ultimatum: If they don’t all marry by the time she dies, none of them will see any of her money. Oliver decides to teach his grandmother a lesson in meddling by choosing his bride from a brothel! He has no real interest in actually getting married as he has learned from the horrible example his parents set.
Maria Butterfield is an American who has come to England to track down her missing fiance. She has a run in with Oliver at a whorehouse and decides to take him up on his offer: his help finding her missing fiance for posing as his wife to be. Really, how hard could it be??
The resulting story is hilarious at times, heart wrenching at times, and overall an excellent read!
The character of Maria’s cousin Freddy is wonderfully written. He is so wanting to be a protector. I can see him like a little puffed up robin trying to protect his chick! He would just blurt out whatever was on his mind. So funny! The various parts that dealt with Oliver’s parents’ deaths were absolutely painful. I found myself hurting for that little boy left in that situation, and cheering for him to recover under the ministrations of Maria.
Although I haven’t met a Sabrina Jeffries book I don’t like, I really enjoyed reading this first look at the Hellions of Halstead Hall series. The characters, whether likable or not so likable are well written and well developed. The love scenes steam my glasses, and I find myself lost in another world a mere few pages after beginning. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!
Book Binge loved this book (gave it a 4 out of 5) and had the following to say: “This was a sweet love story with charming characters. I recommend it if you’re in the mood for a can’t-put-down historical romp.”
Romance Rookie gave this book a B+ but spoke positively about Lord Stoneville. Read her thoughts here.
The Book Girl gave Lord Stoneville a 4 out of 5 and said: “Sabrina Jeffries is one of my favorite historical authors. THE TRUTH ABOUT LORD STONEVILLE is fantastic and a great beginning to a new series.”
Cruise over to Sabrina Jeffries’ website to read more on this series of books and stay tuned for the next book in this new series.