There are a few tropes that will always hook me when it comes to historical romance. One of those tropes, the marriage of convenience, is the underpinning for Burrowes' latest in her Windham Brides series. What starts out as an attempt by the heroine, Charlotte Windham, to have a brush with scandal so that she can avoid further London seasons, turns into a marriage to Lucas Sherbourne, her unwitting accomplice.
Lucas is a wealthy man, but one who doesn't share the aristocratic familial connections that Charlotte has in every direction. What he does have is a huge business undertaking that relies on investments from those same aristocratic connections. So, for him, marriage to the last unmarried Windham will be just what he needs to cement those relationships. For Charlotte, who has always valued her independence, marriage to Sherbourne will give her as much freedom of choice as a married woman might be expected to have in 19th century England. Thus they enter into the wedded state.
That's the setup. But the meat of the story is about how these individuals, pretty much strangers before they marry, can not only learn to live with one another, but become partners in the process, and perhaps partners who discover love. The conflict that arises between them does so organically, based on who they are and the choices they've made in life and they have to work hard at finding a solution. And all of this is beautifully done. Though all of Burrowes books are worth reading, you don't have to go back and read the whole series before jumping in here. This can easily be read as a standalone.