Before I start today's post I just want to say that this book was sent to me by Victoria Chatham in exchange for a review.
Title: His Unexpected Muse
Author: Victoria Chatham
Publisher: Books We Love Publishing
Publication Date: 2019
When Lady Olivia Darnley is seemingly abandoned by her mother, she accepts the assistance of a stranger, Lady Skeffington, who offers her a position as a companion, much to her son’s dismay.
Lord Peter Skeffington is not at all pleased that his mother has chosen to not only take Lady Olivia under her wing, but her dog, too. Despite his reservations, he finds in Olivia a shared interest in books and begins to look for her daily until he faces the uncomfortable realization that he is in love with her.
Still hurt by her mother’s disappearance and desperate to find her, Olivia relies more and more on Peter’s support but a shocking betrayal by the man she has come to trust and love, shatters her new found happiness. Will Peter manage to overcome the rift between them that he has unwittingly caused? Will Olivia accept not only his apology but also his proposal of marriage? Is there a future for this apparently mismatched pair?
I thoroughly loved this book. I am really going to try and avoid spilling too many spoilers for this book but I find that if I am trying to explain why I like or dislike a book I tend to inadvertently spoil things for others.
From the first chapter when Olivia stood up to her mother, I was hooked on this book. After standing up to her mother the very next morning Olivia wakes up and realizes that her mother has abandoned her along with the one servant that stayed, Mrs. Finch. Olivia realizes what has happened and tries to walk herself to the bank, along the way she gets invited to Lady Skeffington's home. it is there that she is offered a position as companion to the Lady. Her son makes his dislike for this known, but his mother disregards this and Olivia moves in with Mrs. Finch and Olivia's dog Pepper. Eventually, Peter realizes that he enjoys Olivia's presence and he looks forward to seeing her. Olivia also has feelings for Peter but she is happy just being friends with him as she has never had friends before. Peter realizes that he and Olivia have many things in common, and comes to the realization that he is in love with her. Olivia thinks that Peter is just being nice and she doesn't seem to notice that Peter has feelings for her. She comes to the realization that she will eventually leave Lady Skeffington's home as she can create a household for herself but finds herself unwilling to do so.
While all of this is occurring Olivia is also coming to terms with being an heiress after it is discovered that her father left her with a substantial amount of money after he died, something that her mother didn't have access to. Olivia's new friends, Lord and Lady Clifton help her find her mother in a bad part of town. Her mother is taken to hospital where she sadly does die, however, I won't say when this happens. Olivia struggles at first with the new information that she receives but with the help of Peter's mother and of Lady Clifton she learns quickly. Peter is very helpful during all of this as well and I think that Olivia finally gives in to those feeling that she was having for Peter, (at least to me the only reason she does so is that she assumes she will be moving out and won't be seeing him anymore). Obviously, Peter and Olivia do end up together, however, this is not without misunderstandings, including one that causes Olivia to leave London and go to Darnley Hall in Lincolnshire. Peter's mother and Lady Clifton follow closely after they find Olivia's note left at Lady Skeffington's home. After Lord Clifton enlightens Peter about the situation they both head to Lincolnshire as well. Even though Olivia loves Peter as soon as she sees him descending from the carriage she takes off to her room not wanting to see him. I found this particularly funny because in the first chapter she stands up to her mother and as the book went on you can see just how strong-willed Olivia is, to see her run from the man that she is in love with was comical to me. Things work out in the end and the misunderstanding is explained. I have to say from the beginning I knew what the ending would be as I was able to see the context clues for sure on certain parts. I really am trying not to spoil anything so I won't say any more than that.
I personally loved this book, it is my favorite out of the Berkely Square series. I love that the characters from the other books are involved in this one as well. The mystery aspect continued throughout the entire book, which I really enjoyed. The closing sentences were a great way to end the book. Olivia and Peter are a great pairing and I love that they had many things in common. I definitely recommend that you read this series as it is very good.
I have rewritten this review a couple of times because I thought I had spoiled too many things the first couple of times. I hope this one isn't spoiling too much and I apologize if it is.
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