May 2014 by HarperImpulse
Amazon + Good Reads
"Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, is exasperated by his sister's choice of friend. Meredith Divine clings, using Rowena's plain appearance as a foil for her auburn curls and fuller figure. He would break the friendship, but the more he complains, the more time the girls spend together. Ceasing his disagreement, he hopes the friendship will die, believing Meredith will take a wrong step soon...
Meredith clings to her only friend, Lady Rowena Stanforth, despite the disgusted looks thrown by Rowena's proud, judgmental brother. Lord Morton cannot abide Meredith because of her low standing, but Meredith's heart favours him . . . then in his single act of kindness, Meredith grasps an opportunity she cannot resist... "
This novella was my first exposure to any of Jane Lark's works and I have to admit that I was not disappointed. I am a big fan of love stories that begin with bad first impressions and end with the characters seeing different sides of one another. However, because the story was so short, I found the character development and depth to be lacking. I think that the story would have benefited from more time to allow the characters to unfold - I would have liked to see complexity within both Rupert and Meredith, and again, I think that a novel would have allowed their relationship to feel more authentic. As it stands, Meredith appeared to be a head strong young girl with a crush on a friend's older brother and Rupert was only accepting of the relationship once he realized that their sex life would be satisfying.
Despite the shortcomings, I still enjoyed the story. I began the novella with hopes that it would be a precursor to a full length novel about Rupert and Meredith, but it seems as though their story is only one that we'll see in the background of other character's stories. Oh, well.