The Wastrel (Most Unsuitable Men, book 1) (Harlequin Historicals #344)… by Margaret Moore
England 1862: For the longest time London’s society considered Lord Paris Mulholland the most renowned wastrel (Oxford American Dictionary - wastrel: a wasteful or good for nothing person), but every ball or party that was thrown, always included an invitation to the Mulholland house. These kinds of parties always bored Lord Mulholland, he had to invent ways to keep himself amused, overhearing a conversation about himself left him wondering if someone like Miss Wells could really be so audacious and innocent. Being invited to this party was a surprise to Clara Wells, she knew that her aunt and uncle didn’t run in the same class. When Aunt Aurora had gotten the Lord Mulholland to agree to her painting his portrait, it was almost to much, how could she stay in the same house with that ’rogue’ and still maintain her reputation even if they desperately needed the money. The close proximity of the house leads to secrets, admissions of other secrets, and so much more that one portrait.
From the beginning, the main plot is evident. The fun part of this story is finding out the emotion and personal depths that Paris daily maintains to keep his artificial façade. The gentle way Clara cares for her guardians touched Paris and he had to admire her even if she would never look at him that way. Through it all there is a sense of a gentle soul in Paris that is yearning to be cared for and by the end, a sigh for the words come out wrong and feeling get hurt, but if it really matters, he can make it right. This is an older Harlequin Historical (1996) that I dug out, re-reading it after so many years was a treat.
Sep 7, 2008