Louise Bay has this way about her male heroes. They seem very much in control of their lives…until they aren’t. And this control typically becomes lost…in the hands of an unassuming heroine. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading British royalty or billionaire businessmen or men who’ve just sold their security business for millions of dollars. With the right woman, these men simply change and become better: “She thought I’d been the one to change things for her, but she’d changed me completely. And she’d never know.”
This is very true of her most recent offering, The Wrong Gentleman.
I was very excited to get my hands on an early copy of this book as I love to see an alpha man brought to his knees. This new book does not disappoint with that.
Landon, Bay’s H, is handsome, capable, focused, incredibly skilled at spying and bedding women, and he’s emotionally unavailable. He does not engage in relationships, so his permanency with women is non-existent. He likes them for one thing and one thing only. You can guess what that is: “I hated the idea of a part-time girlfriend or wife. I didn’t do things by halves.” His life is his work, and there is nothing that he allows to interfere. Obviously, being closed to relationships with women leaves an opportunity for a woman to enter his life and change him. C’mon. This is a Louise Bay novel, so it is destined to happen.
Enter Skylar. Now, similar to Landon, Skylar is also not interested in relationships with men. However, unlike Landon’s work, her past informs her present and future: “I wouldn’t end up like my mother. I didn’t want her life or her death.” Skylar is strong, beautiful, talented with her job as the head steward on a yacht, and dedicated to her friends. However, like Landon, there are parts of her that are emotionally stunted.
Herein lies the deliciousness of a Louise Bay novel. These two will meet, they will feel an instantaneous attraction, and they will eventually realize that they cannot live without each other. However, to get to that moment, they will struggle. In The Wrong Gentleman, I found myself wanting to reach into the book and smack Skylar upside her head. Her past is horrible, but I thought she was too stubborn for too long. Her emotional walls are solidly in place, and it takes most of the book for Landon to tear them down (along with his own walls). Even when her emotional walls are destroyed/lowered, Landon’s choices and secrets destroy her and cause those walls to grow even stronger than before. Though I struggled with her earlier in the book, this moment in the book tore my heart out. This is Bay’s genius. Her characters are written in such a way that you cannot help but feel their pain and their eventual happiness. And this is very true of The Wrong Gentleman.
By the end of this book, you will love Landon and Skylar. Through their challenges and their love and their separation and their eventual HEA, you will fall in love with them. They show us all that our past does not need to make decisions for our present and future.
Landon: “I couldn’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t feel the same way. It was as if she were a part of me, and without her, there would be some element missing. I wanted to stay connected with her—physically, mentally, emotionally—forever.”
Skylar: “Landon Wolf was the last man I’d ever expected to end up with, but he was the only man I would ever love. The only man who’d showed me he could be trusted. I knew as long as I was with him, I’d be safe, loved, and protected, and that’s all I’d ever wanted in life.”
In love and romance,