I would say this is vintage Jo Goodman, although I haven’t read that many of her books. But her heroines are generally the tortured characters in the books and the heroes remain steady and sure. In this case, the hero has his own demons, actually, but they are not such a burden and he handles them well, considering.
The opening was a little slow but I loved this book. As the story begins, Olivia lives with her younger, rather worthless brother who trades her for an emerald ring, leaving her in Griffin’s care. Somewhat to both their dismay. Olivia has nowhere to go, her father has abandoned her, and Griffin runs a gaming hell.
I’m not sure the premise can be historically accurate (though I’m no Regency expert), but it doesn’t matter since Goodman’s voice and storytelling convince me of her world. As is often the case with Goodman, someone threatens the well-being and the life of the heroine, and as the story unfolds we come to learn more about Olivia and Griffin’s past while they learn about each other and fall in love.
I realize I’m being quite vague on the specifics, but I believe it’s best to approach this book without spoilers, large and small. Both Olivia and Griffin have been betrayed by those who should never have betrayed them, but Olivia has been particularly abused, and Goodman convincingly describes her coming into her own.
I did wish the worst villain in the book had got his comeuppance and I worry about what he may still be doing to other innocents.
AAR gave The Price of Desire a B+.