Read an excerpt: here
Gareth St.Clair's relationship with his father was hostile at best and downright malicious at worst. The by-blow of his mother's lover, whose identity isn't known (until the end of the book), Gareth was raised as a legitimate off-spring and then effectively told of his parentage and cut-off when he refused to marry the women of his 'fathers' choosing (which was arranged just to replenish the family coffers.)
The death of Gareth's brother, George, makes him the heir and his father has seen to it that he's systematically squandered the majority of Gareth's inheritance. Gareth is given a diary written by his grandmother in Italian, and believes that it will lead to valuable treasure. He will have to seek the help of an unlikely ally and fight his maddening reaction to her all at the same time.
Hyacinth Bridgerton is the baby of the Bridgerton family, but she'll give you hell if you even think about mocking her. She's a vibrant, full-of-life, cheeky slip of a girl, whose on her third season and in no real rush to settle with any of the fools of the ton. Over time, she and the tell-it-like-it-is, Lady Danbury, develop a blooming friendship. Many find Lady Danbury a bit too abrasive, but Hyacinth can't help but love the old crow (I love Lady D too; I hope she doesn't take exception to the crow comment). The feeling is mutual, and when Lady Danbury's grandson stops by with a mysterious diary and a delima, the wheels start turning, and match-making becomes the operative.
Gareth may be destined to inherit debt, but the effervescent Hyacinth, sister to a wealthy Viscount and a Duchess, has no problem over-looking that fact and helping Gareth translate the diary from italian (if he agrees to let her participate and follow it's clues to the presumes hidden treasure). As they spend more and more time together, trying to decipher the clues and keeping their meddling relations at bay, their efforts lead to the conclusion that a break-in at Gareth's father's home is the next step.
As the search for his grandmother's hidden treasure becomes more and more dangerous, Gareth's instinct to keep Hyacinth from harm multiples tenfold, but Hyacinth will have none of that, he can't just kiss her senseless and then expect to leave her out on all the fun.
The heated accent of investigative intrigue provides the perfect backdrop to a story about a man, whose family's secret could ruin his one chance at happiness, and whose kisses speak of ever-lasting passion (and love).
::Rating:: 4 "Aww's" ::Rating::
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Hyacinth and Gareth have to sneak into his father's house. On one of these 'missions', the all too attentive butler almost discovers them, but they quick seek cover in a wardrobe and you could cut the tension with a knife. There's the fear of detection mixed with the sexual tension that's been steadily mounting all throughout the novel. I won't give away what/if something happens, but The scene was just well-written and I remember it fondly.
Hidden treasure themes can either be boons or bombs for some stories. I am all for adventure and mystery in a romance, and I love what JQ did with this novel. With just enough inner conflict in the hero and quiet a bit of engaging personality in the heroine, I was kept thoroughly entertained. There was also enough conflict between our two lovebirds to make the trails love often goes thorough in a romance novel do it's job here and endear the story to the reader. There wasn't an end to the amazingly funny and dear cast of characters and this book just did some really nice things. If there ever is another earthquake in New York (or wherever you happen to live), swipe this book from your bookcase, head down to your local bomb shelter and let Gareth and Hyacinth mask the hysteria for a few hours!
*Next up in the Bridgerton Series is the FINAL installment, 'On The Way To The Wedding', Gregory's Story!/ My Review can be found: here