Print Length: 327 pages
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing - Forever (August 23, 2022)

From Goodreads.com: They chose duty over love—but fate's handing them a second chance.

Lady Georgiana Arlington has always done what’s best for her family—even when it meant marrying a man she didn't love to save her father. Her husband’s death has left her stronger and bolder—a hellion, some would even say. When a mysterious enemy jeopardizes her livelihood and reputation, there’s only one person she can trust to help her uncover the threat: the same man she left heartbroken years ago.

Captain Henry Harris is no longer the penniless fortune hunter he was when they first met. Now a decorated naval hero, he could have his choice of women, but no other woman has Georgie’s allure, nor the tenacity he can’t help but admire. Assisting Lady Arlington will put both his body and his heart in danger—and yet, he can’t resist a second chance with the one woman he’s never been able to forget.

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This is the first novel in this series (and by this author) that I have read; thankfully, it stands on its own well enough that I had no trouble understanding the characters and their relationship to one another (as a couple from one of the prior books do make an appearance in this one). 

I wanted to like this story a lot more than I did. And when I look over the list of why this one didn't work for me, I feel like I will be in the vast minority because there really isn't anything wrong with the story or the author's writing style. 

This simply didn't work for me because of the characters. Now don't get me wrong, on their own Georgiana and Henry were interesting. I enjoyed how she used what limited power she held as a woman to improve the lives of others through her factory conditions. I enjoyed how she refused to be cowed by the people who would threaten her (both her safety and her plans to expand her business). Henry was also an interesting character in his own way; a wounded former spy with a secret nearly as crippling as his injury. But together? What a mess.

The worst part is that the entirety of what happened between them, both in the past and in the present, could have been avoided if they had only taken the time to talk to each other instead of either assuming the worst right off the bat, or simply refusing to talk about it at all. Instead, we get tons of internal dialogue where they mentally say all of the things they should be speaking out loud, then wonder why nothing about their situation changes. Or they constantly "hurt" the other because, again, there is a lot of assuming happening instead of speaking. It was tiresome at best. 

I really wish that instead of them still being "in love" after eight years (during which I would assume they both grew into different versions of themselves), we would have seen them fall in love with the people they were now. The author tried to explore this, but instead, it came across as "Henry was wrong in thinking that she was shallow eight years ago," etc. 

And for the love of God, please stop calling the poor man "Captain" or "The Captain." He has a name, for crying out loud, and had long been retired from the navy on top of it. 

As I said before, I will likely be in the minority here, and that's okay. Not every book is made for every reader. So if this seems like a book you would still enjoy, I encourage you to browse some other reviews and take a chance.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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                                  The Hellion and the Hero is available on Amazon.com