3 out of 4 stars
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When Duke Ivo Rutherford arrives at the Hôtel Fleuri in Switzerland a few months earlier than usual, he is certain there will be no problem. He is shocked to find someone—a woman, and a lovely one at that—has been given his preferred room. In the wake of her husband’s death, Imogen Mainwaring is taking some time away in Switzerland. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect to be attracted to such an infuriating and sexy man as Ivo.
Over the next several weeks, Ivo continues to make advances that Imogen insists on pushing away, despite her growing attraction. When things get too close for her liking, Imogen flees home to the English countryside. There, she realizes her knack for business and that she must move to London in order to conduct affairs in a timely manner. Ivo returns to London, where he is surprised to find Imogen now lives. Back in close proximity, their attraction smolders again. But Ivo is a rake, and Imogen is staunchly proper. Can it work?
Imogen or Love and Money by GL Robinson is a historical romance set against the backdrop of railway growth in England. I found both the romance and historical details fascinating and satisfying. In particular, I enjoyed Imogen’s character arc. She is headstrong and intelligent from the beginning, and her application of those traits toward building a business really made her shine.
Ivo and Imogen are adorable as a couple. Ivo isn’t shy about all the women he’s been with, and Imogen is very vocal about her disapproval of his behavior. Their banter was amusing. There were a few points, especially toward the beginning, where the back-and-forth felt like it was a bit too much. Overall, it didn’t bother me. I also wished I’d gotten a bit more of their individual personalities. When Imogen and Ivo were together, they felt like real people. When they were apart, things felt glossed over. For example, there are scenes where Imogen does a lot of thinking about her feelings toward Ivo while her maid is in the room. I would have loved for Imogen and her maid to discuss Ivo. Similarly, showing Ivo conversing with his friends would have rounded him out.
The time period, too, was interesting. Historical settings aren’t usually what I read, but I was drawn in by the discussion of trains. Imogen’s involvement in business was a bit like its own story. Actually, there were some points where it felt like I was reading two different stories—one about the railways and one about the romance. I would have liked more integration between the two, but they did come together in enough places to link up events.
I rate Imogen or Love and Money 3 out of 4 stars. I noticed grammatical errors and missing words throughout. The story also needed some more revisions before I would give it 4 stars.* Despite the things that tripped me up, I enjoyed this too much to give it 2. I recommend this to fans of historical romance and general historical fiction. There are some adult scenes, so this is for readers eighteen and older. I saw no indication that this was the start of a series, but if it is, I will pick up future installments.
* Admin Note: The book has been edited since the review to correct the errors noted by the reviewer.
Imogen or Love and Money
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