This is a rather fun historical romance, which I love, but it also has serious aspects, like the inclusion of familial strife. As I am not a stranger to such situations, I liked the way it was handled: perhaps a little lightly, but it's unusual to see such delicate additions to a historical romance plot. Usually if there is family strife, one side is clearly bad as bad gets, while the heroine/hero side is the 'good' family. I liked that none of the characters were perfect human beings (like those exist), as I do see that irksome feature a lot in romance.
The Plot: (As Seen on Goodreads)
'Consummate man of business and rake at large, Worth Kettering, repairs to his country estate to sort out his familial situation, trusting the ever efficient (though as yet unmet) housekeeper, Jacaranda Wyeth, will provide his family a pleasant summer retreat. To his surprise, his household is manage by a quick-witted, violet-eyed beauty who’s his match in many regards.
'As Jacaranda and Worth become enamored, the family she’s kept hidden from him, the financial clients Worth feels singularly protective of, and the ragged state of affairs between Worth and his estranged older brother Hessian all conspire to keep Worth and Jacaranda apart. Worth must choose between love and profit, and Jacaranda must decide between loyalty to her family, and the love of a man who values her above all others.'
The plot isn't highly original, but it keeps you reading. I enjoyed the fact that the author didn't go over the top like most historical romances are wont to do: the plot was believable, which makes it more enjoyable for the realist in me. I also liked that the pacing of the hero/heroine relationship was much slower than your average historical romance- most of the time, I can predict where the plot will change. At 30%ish on my Kindle, there'll be a first kiss, then a hop in bed at 60%. If you like the generic pacing of historicals, this might not be your book.
The best aspect of the book is the familial relationships between the characters, and the characters themselves. As a stubborn individual, I appreciate strong-willed characters, but Jacaranda was probably a touch too bull-headed in her ideas of what she should do. Neither her or Worth's family's are out of the picture in this book, but hers remain a mystery for much of it. In the end, all is resolved, but it takes a little longer than most books.
Worth: Lord of Reckoning is a historical romance that has a lot going for it. Most of the time, you'll find me gagging at romance protagonists, but Worth and Jacaranda were well matched and in a positive relationship, even though she was extremely stubborn and reluctant, at times for little reason. I recommend Worth: Lord of Reckoning to those historical romance addicts who don't mind pumping the breaks on the fast-paced relationships of most Regency novels.
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars for a solid historical romance that doesn't follow the usual map of events.
Content: Ages 18+ for a sex scene, sensitive topics (suicide), and a charmingly persistent rake.
Page Count: 364 pages