Caroline Yaxley has always been in love with her best friend, James Dunstable, Duke of Heydon. After years of waiting for him, she's finally admitted defeat and decided to find a husband. James suggests she practice her nonexistent flirtation skills on him, which seems like a good idea -- until she must pull away to avoid a shattered heart. Their pretend attraction has begun to feel alarmingly real!
It is the kind of book that will make you smile, make you sigh, but also make you want to jump into the book and give a particular character a shake!! In this instance, that character is James Dunstable, Duke of Heydon.
James' parents had a perfect marriage after falling in love at first sight and that is the kind of love that James has set his heart on. He won't settle for less.
His best friend, a female friend that is, is Caroline Yaxley. She has been madly in love with him for years but he has been too blind to notice. Finally, she decides that she can't wait around for him forever and she lets her mother know that she wants to find a husband. She knows she won't marry for love when she is so in love with James, but she also knows that there are other men out there who will make good husbands.
James, the poor blinkered man, even offers to teach Caroline how to flirt in order to show a man she is interested in him!! The problem is that the more time they spend together the closer they become. James even starts to realise that he is physically attracted to Caroline, but despite loving her as a best friend, and fancying her, he STILL can't see that he is in love with her.
Can Caroline keep up the friends only farce, will she really give up on waiting for him, will somebody help James to see what is right in front of him, the perfect love and the perfect wife, or will Caroline agree to marry a gentleman whose proposal was a surprise, but a pleasant one?
This was a thoroughly enjoyable story even with the moments where I wanted to give James a good shaking! Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike his character at all, and I understood his wanting love at first sight. I just couldn't wait for him to realise just how much he loved Caroline. The author did a wonderful job of building the suspense. It was such a fabulous moment when he finally opened his eyes, but still, we had to read on to see if it was too little too late!
There was another character in this book, a friend of James. I would love for him to have his own book. I wonder if he will? In the meantime, I am happy to have 'met' him in this book, and loved James and Caroline's story.