I received a copy of Impeccable by Darcy Burke from NetGalley. The Phoenix Club Book Series by Darcy Burke has been one of my favorite historical romance series so far. Naturally, I was very excited to read Impeccable, the seventh addition to the series. The story follows Evangeline Renshaw and Lord Gregory Blakemore.
Evangeline Renshaw and Lord Gregory Blakemore were introduced as characters in the first book Improper itself. There is little information about Evangeline in the other books that followed, but she remained a sort of mysterious character. Evangeline is spending time with her sister and her brother-in-law at their house. She runs into Gregory while taking a walk, and they rescue a puppy together. Evangeline and Gregory have met before, they are part of a similar social circle, but he doesn’t remember her. Now, he is the neighbor of her sister.
Evangeline has a troubled past, and she has taken great efforts to move away from it. She and her sister were courtesans. Their life was completely disrupted when they were children, and they did what they had to. Unlike her sister, Evie doesn’t think she needs a man and is extremely content with her independent life. Gregory is taken with Evie from the beginning, but she treads carefully around him. He surprises her because he is not like she expected. Not looking for marriage, Evie and Gregory settle for an affair as long as she stays with her sister. Once she returns to London, they can go back to their own lives. Things don’t according to this plan.
I liked how the romance was built up between Gregory and Evie. Gregory is pretty smitten with Evie immediately but isn’t exactly sure of how to behave around her. Evie pretends to be a widow because it keeps her safe in society and her past hidden away. Her reasons for wanting to keep her distance even if Gregory fascinates her are understandable. Slowly, he starts opening up to her but Evie has trouble doing the same because she is scared. Gregory has lost his father recently and his brother has taken up the duties. He is free to do what he wants for the first time.
I loved the way Evie and Gregory complemented each other. Their relationship builds in a quite realistic manner, and they have chemistry from the start. Their romance is done really well, and it was the best part of the story for me. I wasn’t fond of Gregory’s brother and sister-in-law. They seem so annoying, and the only thing on their mind is to get invited to the Phoenix Club simply because it is exclusive. I was annoyed to read the parts where they showed up; their characters are unlikeable and self-obsessed. Evie and Gregory have a journey throughout the story that is satisfying for their characters, and the romance is a wonderful part of it.
Impeccable by Darcy Burke was every bit as interesting as the previous books of the series. The plot was interesting, the characters were relatable, and the romance was swoon-worthy. The story is paced well, I finished the book over a weekend. I know this historical romance series is almost at the finish line, with just one more book to go, I think, but it’s been so much fun reading these stories.
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