Firstly, there is always talk about covers, and very rarely do we see a blond hero on the cover (unless it's Fabio, LOL). I liked this guy on sight.
Here's the blurb, courtesy of Gayle Callen's web site: Louisa Shelby's carefree life of elegant balls and beautiful frocks ended when her father died, leaving her penniless. With no hope of securing a proper marriage, the vivacious young miss accepts a position as a companion to an elderly viscountess. But temptation in a most unexpected guise awaits Louisa in the dowager's home...
Once, Simon Wade was London's most eligible bachelor and most able seducer. But a tragic accident forced him into seclusion, away from prying eyes and questions. He thought he'd never again experience the tender touch of a beautiful woman. But while he yearns to hold the enchanting Louisa and taste the intoxicating nectar of her kiss, he will accept no woman's pity.
Louisa never desired a man the way she burns for Simon. And now her chance at happiness may rest in her ability to convince the stubborn viscount that her passion is real...and her love is true.
What did I like? All the main characters are truly likeable. There is no huge villain - the main conflict is Simon's blindness. I liked the way Simon's family rallied around him (with the exception of his mother, who comes back later to provide the impetus for the resolution of the story). I liked the way Simon wasn't wallowing in self-pity. He was slowly trying to put his life back together. And he was open to the changes that Louisa proposed for him - to please her, to please his family, but mostly so that he could improve his quality of life.
I also enjoyed the night-time talks between Simon and Louisa. While they were rife with sexual tension, they also served to bring them closer as friends; they got to know one another, they shared confidences. They served to dispel any misgivings Simon may have had over the one contrived setup - that of Louisa's "perceived reputation" among the men in the ton.
I enjoyed the Wade family dynamics. Lady Wade obviously loves her grandchildren, and that feeling is obviously returned in spades, along with a healthy dose of well-earned respect. I liked the give and take and teasing, but evident love that shone through among the three Wade siblings - untempered, only strengthened, by Simon's accident.
I also enjoyed getting a glimpse, although shortlived, of the three Shelby sisters together with their extended families. They also share a closeness and love together.
What didn't I like? Not much. I probably could have done without Louisa's setup reputation, however its purpose was clear, and it did move the story to its conclusion.
All in all, this was a heartwarming, touching story, filled with love and humor. I also remember really enjoying the first book - The Lord Next Door. For you series sluts out there, the 2nd book is The Duke in Disguise. I can't recommend it, as I haven't read it, but I'm sure I'll pick it up at some point. I also enjoyed Callen's Spies and Lovers trilogy.