Much as I enjoy Anne Grace's novels, I wasn't sure that I was going to enjoy the second installment in the Merridew sisters' series, "The Perfect Waltz" mainly because I wasn't sure if the beautiful and (almost) perfect Hope Merridew would be able to sustain my interest. I worried needlessly: Hope may be the almost perfect heroine, but Anne Grace made her intelligent, compassionate and determined enough to make her an interesting heroine and one that it was easy to root for -- add this to an extremely interesting storyline and a secondary romance subplot that possessed sizzle as well, and you have a fairly memorable romance novel that is sure to win raves!
Beautiful and lively Hope Merridew's days of suffering abuse from her grandfather are long over. These days, she and her sisters are able to enjoy lives of luxury and ease thanks to the generosity and love of their granduncle, Oswald, and to the splendid and advantageous matches that her two elder sisters made ("The Perfect Rake"). No, these days all Hope has to worry about is which ball to attend and which gown to wear. That is until she meets the dark and enigmatical Sebastian Reyne. Rumour has it that he is a pushing mushroom and an illegitimate son of some sort who may have murdered his first wife -- not the sort of man a much sought after diamond should be interested in! And yet, something about Sebastian intrigues and fascinates Hope (much to her chaperone's dismay). After all this is one man who seems to be able to tell her and her twin apart! And yet, much as he seems to practically devour her with his eyes, Sebastian seems to be courting another lady. What should Hope do? Should she concentrate to meeting other, more eligible gentlemen or hold out in the hope that Sebastian will come to his senses? She knows that she and Sebastian are meant to be, but how to convince him?
"The Perfect Waltz" could have ended up being a book all about a young woman's determination to nab the man she wants. Fortunately, it was not. By factoring in Sebastian's and his younger sisters' unhappy histories and his attempts to make things right for them, and Hope's unhappy memories of what life was like before she and her family escaped to London, Anne Gracie packs her book with enough backstories to give structure to the romance that develops between Hope and Sebastian, thus making it more believable and credible. And speaking of romance, I esp liked the one that developed between the lady that Sebastian was ostensibly courting and his best friend. It had quite a bit of sensual heat. The pacing was smooth and unfrantic and characters, well all fairly well developed -- and these two vital ingredients, along with the absorbing storyline really did contribute to making this a very enjoyable and riveting read for me. So that all in all, I'd say that that fans and romance readers are in for a treat with "The Perfect Waltz."