Laura Lee Guhrke: The Trouble with True Love

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. . . .

This book reminded me of Edith’s storyline in Downton Abbey, albeit in a Victorian timeline. Clara is shier and plainer than her pretty, outgoing sister, who has just snagged an advantageous marriage and is off doing a glamorous romantic tour of the continent–leaving Clara to run the family newspaper. The boorish editor is positively awful and hates working for a woman, so she has to fire him, and slam out a paper late at night, with the help of her dashing Adonis, who definitely isn’t doing it because he’s falling in love with her. She’s constantly getting herself in trouble by saying or doing the wrong or awkward thing, hurting people by meddling where she shouldn’t. And then…well…and then. You’ll just have to read it to find out.

The book was plenty sexy and the main characters were enticing, as they should be in any good romance. I liked that Clara grew from an anxious, shy wallflower to a more confident, goal-oriented business woman. However, she gave Rex all the credit for that growth, instead of allowing it to come from herself, and that bothered me quite a bit. He might have written the article that inspired the change, but he did not climb that ladder, and I hate seeing heroines give all the credit to the man. Thankfully, Rex did seem to give it right back to her–he knew where her internal power was coming from. I just wish she would have accepted it.

The Trouble with True Love was entertaining, but I didn’t like it as much as some of the other Avon books I’ve read recently. It did appeal to my Downton Abbey obsession–but, then, Edith’s story was never my favorite part of the series.

Avon Books provided an ARC for an unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

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