I feel a little foolish for not realizing that Thorn is the son of the Duke of Villiers (it sounded familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why) whose book is A Duke of Her Own. I was wondering why this book is (technically) the start of a new series. I know this new series is number focused - the second book is Four Nights With the Duke, but I’m guessing this series being the next generation from the original books is why it’s a new series.
Both Thorn and India had problems understanding the other. She assumes things and then he does the same. They both make foolish choices that didn’t help with the misunderstandings. There were several times I just wanted to shake them both. I did like that it was both of them being idiots, since it’s so often the man that assumes something completely wrong. Not that I want them to have any misunderstandings, but if they do I want them both to have them.
Thorn is often an ass, but India had her moments. They both had a bad habit of assuming things about the other they had no right to assume. I did really like them, but if they’d just taken a few minutes at some point to really talk so many of the misunderstandings could have been avoided.
Both India and Thorn have had less than “normal” childhoods. Thorn was a mudlark for part of his childhood, he spend time in the Thames looking for things at the bottom of the river. He’s also the bastard son of the Duke of Villiers who raises him and his siblings (after Thorn’s mudlark days). India is the daughter of two parents most of the Ton assume were mad. Her odd childhood is more due to her parent’s neglect than anything else. The neglect is never really explained but India does know what it’s like to be hungry and she use to collect mushrooms to trade for basic staples like flour.
Thorn has plans to marry another woman, which is part of the reason for his and India’s issues - she often assumes that he’s still planning on marrying this other woman since he never says anything about India and himself getting married or even that he loves her. They have sex several times during this book and he forgets the condom (yeah, it’s called something else, but that’s basically what it is). He worries that she’s pregnant and assumes they will marry. India assumes that he’s only offering to marry her because she might be pregnant and claims that if she is she’ll give him the baby to raise - abandoning their child the same way Thorn’s mother abandoned him - something that Thorn should have known she wouldn’t do, since they both have abandonment issues. This assumption leads to them breaking off their relationship and the special licence Thorn obtains leads (in a way) to India assuming that he really wants to marry another woman.
Honestly the more I think about this book the more it drives me crazy - so many misunderstandings and assumptions - Why don’t characters in books just talk to each other? There are other misunderstandings but it really boils down to Thorn not really thinking he’s good enough and India thinking that he just wanted her and didn’t love her. “A woman gives away her heart along with her virtue,” her godmother says and it’s very true in India’s case. There’s also the issue of Vander (Thorn’s friend and a future duke) wanting to marry India. She assumes that some of the reason Thorn asks her to marry him (after the possible pregnancy) is a wish to win over Vanders.