Eliza Martin is a woman of independent means. Her wealth makes her quite the catch despite her age. She is beginning her sixth Season and is determined it will be her last. What differentiates this Season from others is that Eliza is actually looking for a suitor.
A series of orchestrated accidents has Eliza believing someone is trying to force her into marriage. There are plenty of poor noblemen sifting through the Season’s finest. Since Eliza is an heiress she has become someone’s target. By proving Eliza is not safe under the protection of her eccentric uncle, she will be in need of a new protector; a husband who will sweep in and take ownership of her wealth and her freedom. Eliza believes a fake suitor will discourage whoever is trying to force her hand. Her solution is to hire an investigator/fake fiancé.
Jasper Bond is a thief-taker: He finds what people have lost and the person who took them. He is good at his job and is not surprised to be called in for an interview with Eliza and her uncle. He is surprised, however, with the woman herself. After a few minutes of conversation, Jasper is quite intrigued with the woman. She speaks her mind and doesn’t apologize for it. She is a breath of fresh air in a society that is stale. Her reaction to him is both comical and interesting. Eliza insists he is not right for the job because he is too handsome. No one will believe he is interested in her. Jasper makes a deal with Eliza to give him a chance. He doesn’t tell her the other reason he wants this job: One of Eliza’s wannabe suitors is a ne’er-do-well whom Jasper has spent his adult life planning to ruin.
When the chemistry between Jasper and Eliza begins to heat up, the person responsible for Eliza’s accidents steps up their game and they still have no idea who is responsible. Once the perpetrator is caught, where does that leave Jasper and Eliza; will their relationship survive his deceit?
Eliza is a strong heroine who is maybe too practical for her own good, but unafraid to take a chance when it counts. I loved her character. I also loved that the author didn’t use the tired misunderstandings to keep the hero and heroine at odds until the end. Now, Jasper...ooo-aah...someone get me a cold drink! He is a hero I won’t soon forget. Deliciously sexy, tender and loving... It’s no wonder I dreamed about him after I finally put the book down and went to sleep. This book should come with a warning: Contents are hot!
Pride and Pleasure by Sylvia Day is a pleasure indeed. Well written and fast-paced, you won’t want to stop reading.