With two months left to find a husband to fulfill her grandmother’s ultimatum, Lady Celia Sharpe sets her sights on three eligible bachelors. Becoming betrothed to one of these wealthy, high-ranking men will surely prove her capable of getting married, so hopefully the wedding itself won’t be necessary for Celia and her siblings to receive their inheritance. Step two of her audacious plan is hiring the dangerously compelling Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter to investigate the three men she’s chosen. But with Lady Celia bedeviling Jackson’s days and nights, the last thing he wants is to help her find a husband. And when she recalls shadowed memories that lead his investigation into her parents’ mysterious deaths in a new direction—putting her in danger—Jackson realizes the only man he wants Celia to marry is himself!
This blurb came from the author’s website here.
I usually find it bittersweet to read the last book in a series I have enjoyed. Bitter because that means the series is over and sweet because I get all the answers *rubs hands together*. A Lady Never Surrenders is the final book of Ms Jeffries Hellions of Halstead Hall series. I reviewed book four, To Wed A Wild Lord, back in November here. I was really looking forward to reading this for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to know what happened with the suspicious deaths of the Hellions’ parents. And given that I had predicted this particular couple *happy dance* I wanted to see how their relationship was going to develop.
I have to admit that I felt sorry for Celia. Thinking about the amount of internal pressure she had to be under thinking that if she didn’t either marry within the next two months or convince her grandmother, Hetty, to rescind her ultimatum then all of her beloved siblings would lose any chance of inheriting. Celia also had to deal with the fact that no man had ever expressed interest in her before word got out that she was an heiress so how could she hope to find someone who actually wanted her and not her money? Not to mention that she enjoyed a lot of activities that were considered extremely unladylike and her future husband probably wouldn’t agree to let her continue.
Jackson on the other hand seemed like he was caught between a rock and a hard place. Hired to do a job, forced to investigate the potential suitors of the woman he wanted and unable to offer for her himself based on their life circumstances. He also had to deal with the fact that she seemed bound and determined to drive him absolutely insane without really trying. And then there was the pesky issue of what appeared to be a double murder instead of a covered-up murder/suicide.
I made the mistake of thinking that the very meddlesome Grandmother Hetty would have softened given the fact that she now had a gentleman caller but she continued to play a significant role. I already considered her a force to be reckoned with but when she went to work to prevent Celia from making what she considered a horrible mistake I got to see what she was really made of. Those couple of scenes and her refusal to consider anything else made it evident how she was able to care for all five children and create the family business into the empire it became.
I enjoyed the balance between the murder mystery and the building relationship between Celia and Jackson. Both had their fair share of twists and turns while continuing to progress. My only quibble was that a few parts of the mystery were tied up a bit too conveniently but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment as a whole. I can’t talk anymore about “who done it” without spoiling not just this book but the entire series. Ms Jeffries kept me captivated between the humor, the smexy times, the mystery, the Grandmother, and watching both Celia and Jackson overcome scars that had been inadvertently caused by their loving family. Once again I recommend that you start with the first book because this one builds on actions that have taken place in all of the others.
Check back later today for an interview with Ms Jeffries!
I give A Lady Never Surrenders a B+
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