From ugly duckling to beautiful swan
Eliza Hammond has always been quiet and reserved- hardly the best qualities for finding the man of her dreams and living happily ever after. A new heiress, Eliza is financially secure, courtesy of her aunt's fortune, but even great wealth has its drawbacks since every greedy, fortune-hunting bachelor suddenly finds Eliza irresistible.
To help her best friend, Violet takes Eliza's romantic dilemma into her own hands, enlisting the social skills of her brother-in-law, Lord Christopher "Kit" Winter. Kit helps transform Eliza into a stunning belle, certain to attract a worthy beau. There's just one problem: Eliza has always been head over heels in love with Kit, the very man who is trying to find her a husband! But during Eliza's sometimes-comic extreme makeover, and with a few secret love lessons from Kit on the side, sparks- and passionate kisses- begin to fly. Kit soon finds himself completely overcome by an all-consuming desire for Eliza. But if he fails to realize his true love for her, he may lose this fair lady forever.
The culmination of the Trap trilogy, this book features the younger brother and the best friend of the hero and heroine from The Husband Trap.
Eliza is a perennial wallflower, but now she is a rich wallflower and Violet Wyndham has taken it upon herself to find the best match that she can for her friend. Kit becomes involved after he offers his opinion on the unsuitability of a couple of the potential husbands, and suddenly he finds that he has volunteered himself to become the tutor to Eliza. Eliza is extremely uncomfortable, for no one realises that she has been secretly in love with Kit for years. He had been overseas and she had finally convinced herself that she had no more feelings for him, so to have to be in such close proximity to Kit now shouldn't be a problem right?
First things are a change of appearance and wardrobe, then a brush up on dancing and social skills. Inevitably, the attraction between Kit and Eliza starts growing and when Eliza asks for a lesson on kissing no one is more surprised than Kit to feel the sparks between them.
Meanwhile, Eliza's cousin has designs on her fortune and comes to ask Eliza to marry him, an offer that she does not hesitate to turn down. His brooding presence is never far away, and he plays a big part in the final part of the book.
There were many examples of humour running through this book, not least the hairdresser that gave Eliza a makeover who would have given many of today's most flamboyant stylists a run for their money. Eliza's emergence from wallflower to femme fatale was a relatively slow but charming emergence. Before long though, Eliza is attracting all sorts of attention, including offers of marriage from an eminently suitable candidate. Chances are we will see more of Lance Brevard in a future book.
Kit is perfect hero material - definitely not an alpha hero, but he was funny, handsome and charming. He was also a bit slow in realising how he felt, but it all came good in the end. I did like the very ending.
Oh, and a note about Jeanette! Yes, she was still haughty, but she certainly seems to have calmed down and we saw more of her playful side in this book.
I am glad that this author was recommended as Author of the Month for December, and I will definitely be looking for her next books! The three books in the series have been very consistent in quality and tone. Oh, and once again, the cover of this one is much nicer in real life than it is in the pictures that are available on the net.
Finished reading 27 December 2006