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I won't read a book that doesn't contain a romance plot of one kind or another...

A Tryst with Trouble - Alyssa Everett 4.5 stars

The Marquess of Beningbrough -or Ben for short- has tried for many years to prove that he's not like his father, a notorious homosexual. He indulges in lightskirts, boxing and other manly pursuits in order to prove his manliness. However, it becomes obvious pretty soon to the reader, that behind his facade Ben is a decent and honorable man, deeply devoted to his family and friends. His devotion to family is the reason he gets involved in trying to solve a murder that took place inside Helen Jeffords' -his cousin Teddy's fiance- house; a murder for which Teddy steps in to take the blame when it becomes apparent that his fiance will get accused. Now Ben is determined to find the real murderer in order to get his cousin cleared. Equally determined that her sister won't get the blame instead, is Helen's sister, Barbara. Barbara at 24 years of age, is considered almost a spinster, with a prickly, feisty and outspoken nature that hasn't helped her gain any suitors.

Barbara and Ben initially clash swords, but soon agree to work on this case together for the sake of their respective families. The more they work together though, the more complicated their relationship gets, as they begin to admire each other's devotion to family and intelligence along with courage. This admiration of course leads to attraction but as soon as things begin to get interesting between them, the murderer ups the ante and they have to fight for their lives and their newfound trust to each other is put to the test.

To say that this book is ground-breaking material would be a lie. It would not be a lie though to say that it was charming, witty, fast paced and a true delight to read! In a way, it reminded me of Julia Quinn's books, with the easy camaraderie between the protagonists, their witty banter, the feisty but wallflower heroine and the likable hero. That is not to say that the writing style or the plots are similar; it's not. A Tryst with Trouble is written in the hero's and heroine's respective POV (first person), which though it took me a few pages to get used to, didn't put me off in the end, while the mystery is a major part of the story. What thrilled me most -besides the humorous, witty dialogues- was seeing their relationship evolve from dislike to admiration in a way that actually made sense, and how the attraction developed to love after they'd spent some time together and got to know each other.

In short, I loved reading this book and if I had one minor complain, would be the lack of a good sex scene. Though there are a few sensual scenes, we never get to follow the heroes in the bedroom. However, I don't generally mind lack of sex in my books, so I wasn't particularly peeved with this. Had it not been for the fact that I'm mainly a fan of angstier, darker romances, this would be a solid 5 stars romance for me. A wonderful debut and a writer to watch out for in the future.

ARC provided by NetGalley