by Valerie King

November 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7484-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Both Coquette Millbrook and Harley, the new Earl of Harlington are old enough to behave with dignity. Coquette couldn’t care less, as she only wants to come into her inheritance so she can purchase her own ship to travel the seas. And Harley might think he’s in control, and well rid of Coquette, but both of them are in for a surprise when the terms of the will of the late Earl of Harlington, guardian to Coquette, are revealed.

Coquette needs to wed to inherit her fortune and Harley is not allowed to take up the reigns as the new earl before she does so. But who would want a hoyden as a wife? Enter the aunts. A few weeks later with dancing instructions, deportment lessons, and a make over and a promised first kiss from Harley, Coquette is ready to take London by storm. And she does, not only are her childhood friends offering for her, but also every one of Harley’s close friends. It’s no wonder that Harley suddenly feels very protective.

I liked and admired Coquette. She might have been changed in her appearance, but she never lost sight of her dreams. She is kind hearted. How else could she have overlooked all of Harley’s characters flaws and fallen in love with him. Harley is a snob and it takes more than just a few passionate kisses to open his eyes to Coquette’s suitability. This doesn’t make it easy to really like him. But his actions are definitely telling a different story to what his mind dictates. And for those childish pranks, chases and stolen kisses I was willing to understand why it had to be him.

I thoroughly enjoyed Valerie King’s My Darling Coquette. One of the reasons might be that I was unwilling to look closer or delve deeper. Otherwise I would have found the heroine and the hero to be rather immature. It’s their childish pranks and love that charm the reader though.

Reviewed in January 2004 by Kris Alice.

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