Once there were three Irish sisters—Gwendolyn, Dara, and Elise—who had to fend for themselves when their gambler of a father disappeared, leaving them with an unscrupulous cousin. Dara hatches a daring plan: they gamble what little they own to finance a London season. Her goal: to use their looks and their wits to find a duke to marry for each sister!
It seems her crazy plot might work when the sisters are declared the “Incomparables” of the Season. Dukes and lords line up at their door, but bold women and scandal always go hand in hand. Particularly when Dara’s plans are challenged by the likes of Michael Brogan, who provokes Dara as much as he tempts her. The handsome, clever, and rising politician is definitely not a duke, but he’s determined to teach her about ambition, men, and, above all, love, making Dara wonder if her plans are about to change.
I'm a fan of Cathy Maxwell's books. I love how they make me laugh, sigh, and swoon. She's a master of all three. Her newest, A Kiss in the Moonlight introduces her Gambler's Daughters series and the three Lanscarr sisters from Ireland: Gwendolyn, Dara, and Elise. It's an intriguing journey filled with mystery, danger, unexpected romance, and a heart-wrenching family rift (hopefully to be mended in book two).
This first book sets up the series with a fair amount of time devoted to each of the sisters. We begin to learn about their personalities, their desires, and how they each behave within the network of their family and sisterhood. I liked them. Well, I liked two of them. Elise has some significant growing to do before she engages my support. I'm eager to see what Maxwell has in store for her in book two. I'm already fully invested in Gwendolyn and her potential hero (he better be her hero!) and looking forward to that journey.
In this book, it's rule-making, middle sister, Dara (the plain, overlooked one in her opinion) who unexpectedly steps into the romantic spotlight. She and Michael are such a wonderful match. I loved their banter, chemistry, and partnership as they worked together to bring a traitor to justice. Michael really couldn't have found a better life partner. It was so gratifying to watch Dara evolve, accept that she's deserving of love, and finally realize the self-confidence and self-worth that had been outside her grasp. I may have cheered out loud when she finally stood her ground and claimed that which she deserved.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the beginning of each chapter where the author shares one of Dara's proper rules, followed by flask-carrying Great Aunt Tweedie's less than proper response. Snort laughing may have ensued over more than one of those responses.