by Laura Lee Guhrke
Series: Dear Lady Truelove #2
Published on January 30, 2018 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Dear Lady Truelove,
I am a girl of noble family, but I am painfully shy, especially in my encounters with those of the opposite sex . . .
For Clara Deverill, standing in for the real Lady Truelove means dispensing advice on problems she herself has never managed to overcome. There’s nothing for it but to retreat to a tearoom and hope inspiration strikes between scones. It doesn’t—until Clara overhears a rake waxing eloquent on the art of “honorable” jilting. The cad may look like an Adonis, but he’s about to find himself on the wrong side of Lady Truelove.
Rex Galbraith is an heir with no plans to produce a spare. He flirts with the minimum number of eligible young ladies to humor his matchmaking aunt, but Clara is the first to ever catch his roving eye. When he realizes that Clara—as Lady Truelove—has used his advice as newspaper fodder, he’s infuriated. But when he’s forced into a secret alliance with her, he realizes he’s got a much bigger problem—because Clara is upending everything Rex thought he knew about women—and about himself. . . .
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Lady Truelove is back in book 2 of the Dear Lady Truelove series! Last time around, a newspaper editor found love with a duke, and I debated whether it was worth reading the sequel due to a number of issues. I’m happy to say that The Trouble with True Love was an improvement on the series, featuring a heroine whose confidence grows with every page and a considerate hero who isn’t the rake he appears to be.
Picking up where The Truth About Love and Dukes leaves off, Irene’s sister Clara is left with the newspaper as well as the Lady Truelove column while also wishing to participate in the ton Season. Her acquaintance with Rex comes about in a way that’s certainly unfavorable to him but gives both the chance to grow as people and go beyond friendship into romance. I still found the story to be a bit out there, much like the first book, but this one was a tad easier to digest.
Clara was so self conscious of herself and had little confidence to speak of to start out. I could relate to being thrust into a situation that you feel wholly unprepared for and she handled it in a way that struck me as raw and authentic. It was also great to see Guhrke say that it’s okay to want to get married and have a family. Often I feel like the rebellious ladies of historical romances are trying to escape marriage (not always, but frequently for that character type) and I think it’s important to show that it’s not bad to want those things. Which she manages to hope for while balancing troubles at home and her encounters with Rex.
Speaking of the “rake,” Rex was as far from Henry in the first book as I think possible (which is great if you’ve read it and disliked the duke). This particular gentleman plays the scoundrel but has a good heart and despite their disagreements, wants to see Clara realize that she is a great person and doesn’t have to compare herself to anyone else. Instead of being a negative presence in her life or playing the “I just can’t control myself around you” card, he’s truly a gentleman and probably one of my favorite male leads in a romance this year for it.
And don’t worry, there’s a story in the midst of all the lovely character interactions. Rex finds himself doing something he never wanted to do. Clara learns to stand up for herself. All of this revolves around an advice column that’s caused quite a stir. These two working together definitely takes the center stage and their romance isn’t just one of lust, but has strong elements of friendship too. I also enjoyed the family themes with Rex’s character, as well as Clara growing into her own.
This was an enjoyable read, definitely an improvement on the first book, and I’m curious to see what direction the story goes next (if there’s a third book, that is) as the “Truelove” sisters have had their happy endings!