How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries is the third book in Hellions of Halstead Hall series published by Pocket Star books. Lady Minerva Sharpe, the oldest sister, is the reluctant lady. There was a time she was more than willing to fall in love, but that time has passed. She is now content to write gothic romances. Her grandmother insists she must marry for anyone in the family to receive their inheritance.
Minerva used to be in love with her brother’s friend Giles Masters. That was until he kissed her, and humiliated her. That was enough to stomp on her heart, and give her a disgust of all things male. Minerva advertises for a husband not because she wants one to call her grandmother’s bluff. Her brothers turn away the eager suitors, but allow their friend Giles to get through.
Giles needs to stop Minerva from writing him into all of her novel as a rather dastardly spy. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it wasn’t actually a spy. He volunteers to be her pretend fiancé if she’ll quit writing about him.
There are a few problems including the bizarre death of her parents, an uncle who keeps sneaking onto their property to dig stuff up, and a younger brother who seems to have a suicide wish. The most peculiar thing is that Giles Masters really wants to Minerva. The only problem is she can’t trust him because he won’t tell her where he disappears too.
The relationship between Minerva and Giles is fraught with history and lies, which makes it that more tenuous. Minerva’s large interfering family keep stirring up the trouble along the way. This is multi-layer story that leads into the younger brother Gabe’s story.
Woo a Reluctant Lady is Regency romance at its best. It is the type of book you stay up all night reading, even when you have to go to work the next day. Two thumbs up for Miss Jeffries.