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Twice Shy #1

With Love in Sight

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From RWA's 2017 Golden Heart Winner comes a story of passion that is much more than meets the eye.

An aging spinster at 26, all Imogen Duncan sees ahead of her is a life of servitude to her overbearing mother. Her London Season has passed and her desperate shyness and reserved demeanor has destroyed any chance for a match. As her younger sister Mariah begins her own Season and must choose between many suitors, Imogen believes her chances for excitement are well and truly past. But a case of mistaken identity and an unintended kiss brings an excitement into her life that she never dreamed of.

Burying the guilt he suffers from his brother’s death a decade ago beneath a life of debauchery, Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge is content enough to meet willing widows in dark gardens to numb the pain. But he is wholly unprepared when an innocent miss stumbles into his life, turning his superficial world on its head.

Drawn to the quiet, kind girl, whose kiss he stole, Caleb and Imogen form an unlikely friendship. But the more Imogen reveals of her wit and charm, the deeper Caleb finds himself falling for this bespectacled beauty. Refusing to let Imogen be tainted by his demons, he does everything in his power to fight the growing attraction. But when friendship turns to passion the situation between them takes an irreversible turn.

Caleb learns that behind Imogen’s placid exterior lies a will of steel when, to his bafflement, she refuses his marriage proposal. But now that he has possessed her, he cannot not let her go so easily. Can Caleb convince Imogen to give him a chance—and to perhaps heal his soul in the process?

300 pages, Paperback

First published March 27, 2018

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About the author

Christina Britton

14 books338 followers
Christina Britton developed a passion for writing romance novels shortly after buying her first at the tender age of thirteen. Though for several years she turned to art and put brush instead of pen to paper, she has returned to her first love and is now writing full time. She spends her days dreaming of corsets and cravats and noblemen with tortured souls.

She lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area. A member of Romance Writers of America, she also belongs to her local chapter, Silicon Valley RWA, and is a 2017 RWA® Golden Heart® Winner. You can find her on the web at www.christinabritton.com, Twitter as @cbrittonauthor, or facebook.com/ChristinaBrittonAuthor

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 113 reviews
Profile Image for Jultri.
1,078 reviews6 followers
February 21, 2018
3.75/5. 26 years old spinster, Imogen, has resigned herself to a future as the daughter left behind to care for her parents once her younger and far more beautiful sisters have both married. Given the misery of her middle sister’s marriage, she has convinced herself that spinsterhood is probably a better option in any case, even if it means living under her overbearing and dominant mother’s thumb for the rest of her life. Her youngest sister is the success of the current Season, whereas Imogen, with her plainer features and squinty, myopic eyes (since Mother Dearest has forbidden her to wear her spectacles) is once again relegated to keep company with the matrons. After being the subject of vicious comments at a ball, Imogen escapes to the gardens in distress only to find herself snatched up by masculine arms and kissed senselessly.

Caleb, the Marquess of Willbridge, lives a hedonistic life, enjoying brief affairs with willing widows and the likes. Finding himself with the wrong woman in his arms in a case of mistaken identity, he quickly puts aside his sexual interest when he sees Imogen’s distress, not from the kiss which she acknowledged was an honest (albeit eye-opening mistake), but from the weight of the certainty of a lonely future ahead of her. The nice guy in him, too frequently suppressed by his public rakish persona, reawakens at the sight of her tear-streaked cheeks and he resolves to cheer up her much-crushed spirit and an unlikely friendship begins.

Imogen and Caleb have each become adept at hiding their secret pain over the years. He plays the carefree rogue in town to avoid going home to face his family and his shame. In Imogen, he finds an outlet to be himself and in turn, his friendship gives her courage to stand up to her mother and to seek her own pleasures rather than living to please others. Their friendship inevitably crosses the physical boundary and that, of course, changes everything.

The beginning of this novel was a bit weak. The writing was okay and there were no jarring anachronisms but also nothing outstanding. The dialogue could be a bit sharper, but I must say the story-telling and the emotional intensity picked up in the second half. I did get a bit frustrated by Imogen’s stubbornness as well as Caleb’s failure to communicate with his family and his misguided treatment of his sister, Emily. Emily was lovely and in fact the portrayals of the secondary characters were very good. All in all, a solid read from a new author.

This is an ARC from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Elena Mikalsen.
Author 4 books150 followers
January 1, 2019
I am not a huge fan of Regency Romance, but this book was just lovely. Very sexy, wonderfully written characters. One of my favorite plots of a shy heroine and a case of mistaken identity. Great debut!
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,861 reviews5,645 followers
May 9, 2018
I'll admit, I didn't really like With Love in Sight at first. I read a LOT of historical romance, and there was something about the writing that felt clunky to me. With about 1500 romance books under my belt, I've become extremely discerning, and I was afraid With Love in Sight wouldn't make the cut. However, the book really did grow on me the more I read.

The book is a pretty classic wallflower tale with the reformed rake as a counterpoint. Truly, Caleb didn't seem like much of a rake at all, and I could have used more tension between the two MCs, but I do love a spinster story. I liked Imogen, though I wanted her to have even more spunk, more personality. I enjoyed her relationship with her sisters, and I actually liked the harpy mom as a realistic balance to the good in the rest of the family.

I found Imogen's stubbornness towards the end to be a tiny bit frustrating, but I found the book to be a pleasurable read, overall. I don't think it will be making my favorites list or that I'll remember the details in a few weeks, but I would certainly recommend this book to historical romance lovers.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Suanne.
Author 10 books997 followers
March 8, 2018
With Love in Sight is debut author Christina Britton’s new historical romance. It is a combination of the tortured hero and friends-to-lovers romance tropes with a bit of the “Ugly Duckling” thrown in.

Imogen Duncan, a plain, spectacle-wearing older sister, was passed over by suitors during her London season eight years earlier. She believes her life is preordained to care for her parents as they age. Caleb Masters, the tortured hero, suffers substantial guilt believing he caused his little brother’s death. He grows alienated from his family and lives a life of debauchery to suppress his feelings. Caleb and Imogen form an unlikely friendship. He finds in her a calm he hasn’t felt for years. She finds a man who enjoys her company without the pressures of marriage.

At this point the plot thins. When they must attend a masked ball, Caleb finds an antique dress and has Imogen wear it. In this gown, she suddenly blossoms into a new woman—God forbid a hunky male should have a plain lover. From here, the push-pull of their relationship, full of misunderstandings and hurt feelings, stretches the plot even more as Imogen suddenly develops a spine of steel while Caleb learns to love his family again.
Profile Image for Aisha.
251 reviews1 follower
February 12, 2018
This was a very sweet story. I really adored Caleb even with his haunted past. Imogene was great in the beginning but she did bug me towards the middle but redeemed herself in the end. I received this book from NetGalley for a honest review.
Profile Image for Randee Green.
Author 6 books76 followers
February 24, 2018
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.

WITH LOVE IN SIGHT is Christina Britton’s debut historical romance novel. It is the first book in the Twice Shy series, and RWA's 2017 Golden Heart Winner.

Imogen Duncan is 26 years old, and her London Season is long past. With no hope (or desire) of getting married, Imogen is prepared to live with her parents for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, her mother is overbearing and almost always disappointed in her oldest daughter. The woman won’t even let Imogen wear her spectacles in public because she is afraid that it will bring the family to ruin.

Caleb Masters, the Marquess of Willbridge, has spent the past ten years blaming himself for his younger brother’s death. This guilt has driven a wedge between him and his remaining family members. It has also led him to a life of debauchery with widowed women whom he believes will numb his pain for at least a short time.

Imogen and Caleb run into each other at a London ball. Imogen is there because her younger sister is having her Season, and she is there to support Mariah. Their other sister is locked in a loveless marriage that has broken her spirit. Imogen has vowed to make sure that Mariah does not end up in the same situation. Imogen and Caleb quickly strike up an unconventional friendship. Imogen sees Caleb as a guide to adventure – something she desperately wishes to have before settling into to the life of a spinster. Imogen brings peace into Caleb’s life – a feeling that he has longed for ever since his brother died. Friendship turns to passion, but Imogen repeatedly refuses Caleb’s offer of marriage because she refuses to marry a man who does not love her.

WITH LOVE IN SIGHT is a delightful Regency Romance. Imogen is the shy, awkward ugly duckling at the beginning of the novel. By the end, she has blossomed as she finds her backbone and realizes that she is a lot braver than she ever realized. Caleb is the brooding hero living a superficial, self-indulgent life of misery. Imogen’s friendship transforms his life, though he is a little too dense to realize that he is in love with her and she with him until it is almost too late. The secondary characters added to the novel – especially Caleb’s sister Emily. I appreciated Britton took the main characters away from the balls and rigid formality of the London Season, and instead has the second part of the novel taking place in a less formal, more intimate setting. Taking the Imogen and Caleb to his country’s manor house – the scene of his brother’s untimely, unfortunate death – allows for less conventionalism. It also brings Caleb’s family firmly into the story as they play a major role in Caleb’s unhappiness and eventual salvation.
830 reviews6 followers
February 10, 2018
This novel was an enjoyable read. This is the first novel I have read from this author. I enjoyed the plot and character development.
Lady Imogen Duncan knows she will be a spinster. She is rather shy and does not see herself as a beauty. She obeys her mother since her mother does not want society to think they have a blue stocking for a daughter. Imogen begins to see there is more to her when she is mistaken for another woman and receives a kiss from a notorious rake. Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge, did not plan to kiss Imogen, but he cannot forget about her. When he finds her, he is appalled by the way her mother treats her. He begins a friendship with Imogen, for she is different than the society ladies, which intrigues him. However, he does not want to ruin her reputation, but neither care what society thinks of them. Caleb carries a heavy burden and it has impacted his relationship with his family. Imogen realizes she is falling in love with Caleb, but he is not looking for love in a marriage. Imogen has no designs to marry, after seeing what he older sister has gone through in her own marriage. Caleb tries to convince Imogen that the passion and friendship they have is enough, but to her, it is not. Imogen loves Caleb that she tries to solve the mystery behind why Caleb distanced himself from his family. Imogen realizes Caleb saw the things in her that she had hidden away. Both have helped each other with their troubles, but will Caleb realize the love he has for Imogen before she walks away forever?
Profile Image for Renae.
1,013 reviews264 followers
July 27, 2020
I also hope this does not win a RITA. (these awards are a true shit show)

Firstly, shy wallflower spinster books are just...so overdone. I am tired of them. And this book brought absolutely nothing fresh, interesting, or readable to the trope. Unless you're bringing me a black wallflower spinster or a shy queer spinster, don't @ me. Stop.

Secondly, WHAT THE FUCK was going on with this hero? The heroine (whose name I forgot because this book is exceedingly bland) tells this guy no less than 3 times that she does! not! want! to! marry! him! Buuut what does he do? He makes arrangements with the heroine's father to have her visit his country estate for two weeks, when she has made it very clear she does not want to be with him.

Just, please read this quote:
Imogen was proving incredibly slippery in regards to this courting business. Caleb still could not understand why she was refusing him. But he had come to the conclusion that he might never understand it. The female mind was an incomprehensible thing. But it was changeable. And that was just what he would concentrate on.



Her: I don't want to marry you.
Him: I am so confused??? What could you possibly mean by this?
Her: I. Don't. Want. To. Marry. You.
Him: LOL, babe! Baby. C'mon. We all know women change their minds!

I also hated the part where the hero helped the shy wallflower spinster to dress up nice for a masked ball, and then he absolutely went bananas because she looked pretty. He needed her to stay "simple" and "wholesome" goddammit. Thisjust "isn't who she is!" — he knows this because he's the expert on who and what she's like (even though they met like 2 weeks ago). You know what that sounds like to me? A gross, insecure man who needs his partner to believe she's unattractive and so completely lacking in social currency that she has to stay with him or be forever alone. #abuse


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Profile Image for Renaissance Kate.
239 reviews125 followers
August 28, 2022
I was excited to start this series not only because Britton's Isle of Synne series made me a huge fan of her writing, but also because she regained the rights to this series earlier this year and updated each book with beautiful new covers and bonus epilogues!

Now that I've finished the first book, I'm astounded at how much Britton's abilities as a writer grew between this series and her subsequent one. This book definitely reads like a debut, not quite as polished as her later works. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read, even if it won't be going on my favorites shelf. For me, the first half of the novel is where the story shines. Britton executed the friends-to-lovers trope well, in which Imogen and Caleb's unlikely friendship turns into something deeper. I also enjoyed having both Imogen and Caleb's families playing a larger role in the story, which makes me even more excited for Emily's book.

The second half is where the book lost me, mostly because several issues could have been resolved if the characters only talked to each other.
And while I'm sure this happens in real life, as facing conflict is often easier said than done, by the end it dragged on too much seeing the characters get caught up in their own thoughts and fears.

Overall I'd recommend this for lovers of Historical Romance, though if you're new to Britton's work I'd highly suggest starting here.
Profile Image for Staci.
63 reviews6 followers
February 14, 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fun fast read. I fell in love with Imogen and Caleb. Imogen is a spinster, wallflower, and Caleb is the misunderstood rake who hides his emotional baggage behind the facade of being a womanizer. Then Imogen comes crashing into his life, and everything changes. They bring out the best in each other as their friendship develops. This story frustrated me at times, but overall it was very entertaining.
Profile Image for Books Just 4 Me.
307 reviews51 followers
December 21, 2022
Loved it! Spinster, shy older sister meets and catches the eye of a rake. Their companionship turns into a deep friendship that then turns passionate. Imogen will only marry for love though and Caleb doesn’t believe in love. I loved their courtship and the time at his family’s estate. I greatly enjoyed Caleb’s mother and sisters as well as Imogene’s father. I’m happy I found a new author I really enjoy too!
Profile Image for Minerva Spencer.
Author 38 books1,443 followers
March 13, 2018
I'm a sucker for historical romance books with chicks who wear specs and With Love in Sight is no exception.

I liked Caleb, but I must admit I was partial to Imogen and enjoyed her inner workings and watching her personal growth over the course of the book.

Britton does an excellent job developing a couple of my favorite tropes: the wallflower/scrappy spinster and the-rake-with-a-heart-of-gold. I thought she deviated enough from the standard treatments to keep the story fresh and interesting.

There were a couple of points where I wanted to bash the characters' heads together and yell WAKE UP! but that happens in any fulfilling romance at some point novel, historical or contemporary and Britton was careful not to bog down the story with any TSTL characters.

Overall I found her style engaging and the story kept me turning the pages and rooting for love. I'd read another Britton book in a heartbeat.
Profile Image for Caitlyn Lynch.
Author 43 books1,825 followers
March 28, 2018
What’s a wallflower to do? Imogen is the merely pretty sister in a family of Incomparables. Resigning herself to fading into the background, the naturally shy debutante joins the ranks of the wallflowers, accepting her lot as the unmarriageable sister destined to be a comfort to her parents in their declining years.

Hurt by the cruel words of some gossips, Imogen flees into a darkened garden in tears one night and stumbles straight into the arms of Caleb, Marquis of Willbridge. There to meet a willing widow, Caleb’s heart is touched by Imogen’s obvious distress, and their pair begin an unlikely friendship. However, when others begin to take notice, Caleb must decide; will he court Imogen and seek to win her, or walk away before her reputation is ruined?

Of course, he does the right thing. And that’s when the story takes a big twist, because Imogen won’t have him. Stunned, Caleb can’t believe it; why would a wallflower turn down the catch of the season?

Imogen is a lovely heroine. Downtrodden and bullied by an absolutely horrendous mother, who won’t even allow her to wear her glasses in public lest she bring shame on the family, she nevertheless shows her backbone when pushed too far. She was a perfect match for Caleb, who has some seriously self-destructive tendencies due to a family tragedy in his past he still blames himself for. Caleb’s sister Lady Emily was definitely my favourite side character and I find myself desperately hoping she gets her own romance later in this series!

There were one or two anachronisms in the book - ‘gotten’ in a Regency romance always sets my teeth on edge, it’s an Americanism barely used in England even today - but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of this clever, charming romance. 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Lori D.
3,669 reviews86 followers
March 27, 2018
As I have turned the last page, my heart is full. This was such a romantic story of possibilities when least expected that changed two lives just by a chance meeting. A shy wallflower on the shelf at 26, Imogene Duncan is only participating in the season in London to support her beautiful younger sister Mariah's debut. Her mother only dotes on her sister and really just disparages Imogene every chance she can get. At a ball, Imogene escapes to the garden after hearing ugly gossip and runs pell mell into a gentlemen who grabs her and kisses her passionately. Caleb, Marquess of Willbridge, realizes his mistake, that the young lady was not who was meeting him, but kindly takes time to talk to the girl who is so very upset. Thus this wonderful story begins when an unlikely friendship develops as fate brings them together. Imogene has no self confidence from being brow beaten by her mother for so many years and Caleb holds a secret and sorrow that eats at his heart. The characters were so well developed and the author makes you feel invested in the story. I truly loved both Imogene and Caleb and the cast of supporting characters who I hope to revisit in stories to come. This was an excellent debut by Christina Britton and I cannot wait to read more from this series!
Profile Image for Maddison Michaels.
Author 8 books372 followers
March 19, 2018
This was such a wonderful debut! I absolutely love a good wallflower and rake story, and this one was simply marvelous. I loved watching the heroine, Imogen's journey of growth, and Caleb was just perfect for her. This was a winner and I cannot wait to read more of Ms Britton's novels!
Profile Image for SassyLeg.
488 reviews
February 5, 2022
Very good plot line - emotional and steamy - a great rakish H/a strong heroine.
A positive surprise...
1,755 reviews7 followers
February 28, 2018
I am not sure if the author meant to do this, but the play on words in the title is great. This is a very sweet story of two people who become friends, best friends, that slowly develops into love. Caleb seems likes a happy-go-lucky kind of guy but he cannot get past his demons. Imogen is a lovely character but she is a bit mousy when it comes to her mother. With the help of Imogen, Caleb finally overcomes his demons but in the process he loses his friend. Can he win back Imogen?

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Meghan.
633 reviews64 followers
March 9, 2018
Oh my goodness, this book gave me the chills! It is a beautiful love story, with enchanting characters and a romance that makes you wish you could step write into the heroine's shoes. I was only halfway through the book when I realized that this book would be a lovely addition to my Best Books of 2018 list. The story was so well-written, and I couldn't help but want more as soon as it ended. I didn't want to put it down.

Miss Imogen Duncan is quite used to being a wallflower. At 26, her mother has despaired of her ever making a match, so Imogen is relegated to spinster status while her beautiful, vivacious sister is the belle of the ball. One evening, while trying to escape the harsh criticism of her peers, she runs into the gardens and straight into the arms of Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge, and a well-known rake and womanizer. However, despite his reputation, Caleb is kind to Imogen and gentle when most men would mock her in such an awkward situation. Even after they part, Caleb finds it difficult to keep his mind away from her, and he begins to seek her out. Soon everyone is assuming they are courting, and although Imogen longs for Caleb's heart, he makes it clear that while he holds her in great affection, he is incapable of offering her love. It becomes a battle of wills, and Caleb realizes that he may have more to lose than his best friend - he may lose his heart as well.

Caleb was the sweetest hero I have encountered in a historical romance to date. Hands down, competition is over, everyone can go home, because he is the clear winner. I can't even picture a better hero than him, honestly. He was such a kind person to Imogen when she needed it most, and he saw the real her and sought to bring it out in every situation. He stood up for her against her horrible mother, and his every action spoke of the kind of love that many, if not all, women wish for. They started out as friends, then became confidantes, and finally soulmates. Imogen reminded me so much of myself in many ways, and I enjoyed seeing her grow as a person and realize what awaited her if only she could see beyond the prejudices of society. She was so used to being seen as a plain jane, and when someone saw her as more, it took her time to realize that it was genuine and born from a place of love rather than trickery. Her growth as a character was extraordinary, and the love between Caleb and Imogen was so well-developed. Christina Britton has a gift!

I know I just wrote a review, but truly - it is so difficult to put into words how much I enjoyed this book. If you can get a copy, read it. You will love it, I guarantee it.

**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**
Profile Image for wonderfullyweird88.
688 reviews14 followers
March 6, 2018
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Imogen Duncan at the age of twenty-six, is the spinster in her family. Facing a future as her parents aging companion she longs for an adventure. Her mother, forbidding Imogen from where spectacles while in public, browbeats Imogen at every opportunity. Seeking escape one evening she stumbles into the arms of a gentleman who mistakenly believes her to be someone else.
Caleb, Marquess of Willbridge is running from a tragic secret. Upon meeting Imogen, he is inexplicably drawn to the ‘plain-Jane.’ An unlikely friendship develops between the two that develops into something more.
Imogen has seen what a loveless marriage has done to her sister and refuses to enter a marriage where she is unloved. Caleb is determined to prove that he is the man she needs.
This is a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters are well developed, and I was particularly drawn to Caleb, who loved Imogen for who she was and was unconcerned with looks. There is a sprinkling of passion and intrigue with compelling secondary characters in the form of Caleb’s family. I hope they get their own tales.
Profile Image for Shannon.
99 reviews34 followers
April 1, 2018
"" She shot him a sly look. "I wonder, is my propensity for not accepting compliments better or worse than your propensity for fishing for more?"
He laughed. "Oh, certainly yours is much worse. For mine merely makes me all the more charming."
Her lips quirked. "Well, I am certainly glad you have not lost your modesty." ""

Such great characters. Caleb and Imogen lit up the page from the first chapter where our poor miss spinsterish Imogen is caught into a sudden (scandalously delicious) kiss by our hero who had been waiting for a woman quite different.

But our hero is broken and he has nothing to offer, not even to a spinster. He's been holding a dark life altering secret from everyone. It's estranged him from his family.

Can Imogen help him find forgiveness for himself? Will the adventures he takes her on catapult this unlikely couple into a love affair. Possibly.

A touching and, at times, a misty eyed read. A wonderful debut for Miss Britton. This was time well spent for this reader. I would recommend to die hard romance fans and to those who just like that feeling of falling in love.
Profile Image for Tracy Emro.
1,782 reviews45 followers
March 19, 2018
Imogen Duncan is a plain, shy, spectacle wearing, twenty-six year old wallflower. She is participating in the season for her younger sister Mariah. While watching her (or trying to since her mother won't let her wear her spectacles in public) beautiful sister dance, she happens to overhear some matrons talking about her sisters, but when the talk turns to her, she gets upset and needs to escape the ballroom. She runs out to the gardens and straight into the arms and lips of Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge.

Caleb has a tragedy in his past that he can't move on from, he drinks too much, wagers too much and wenches too much, all in a futile effort to escape the guilt and pain he feels. He is surprised by Imogen and tries to comfort her. But she refuses to tell him her name and returns to the ballroom.

By chance they meet again the next day at her home, he has joined his friends in calling on her sister Mariah. He is delighted to see her again and a bit dismayed to see how she is treated. He begins to seek her out and they strike up a friendship. With Imogen, Caleb finds peace, she grounds him. When his friends comment on the attention he pays her, he backs off, he doesn't want to ruin her, but Imogen stands up for herself and demands to know why he is ignoring her. She tells him she wants his friendship and doesn't care what anyone thinks. He apologizes and she asks for a favor, she wants adventure and hopes he can give it to her.

He agrees, but he is starting to desire Imogen and needs to be careful. When one of their adventures goes too far and they end up in bed - Caleb insists that they will marry, Imogen knows she loves him, but will not marry him. Caleb can't understand why she is refusing to marry and sets out to woo her. He will marry her!

He invites her and her father to his country seat and she meets his family. Immediately she knows something is wrong and wants to fix it - even though she has no intention of marrying him. Caleb is terrified that one of his siblings is going to tell her his dark secret and she will never marry him, so he decides to tell her everything, but every time he tries, they are interrupted. He can feel her slipping away, but is helpless to stop it.

I personally loved this book UNTIL they went to his estate, then it just became a giant pity-party, I feel like the miscommunication dragged on way too long and Imogen's reason was flimsy - everyone and I mean everyone, knew she loved him and was sure he cared for her, but she was adamant and this dragged out until the last few pages of the book AND then there was no epilogue! If ever a book NEEDED an epilogue - it was this one. I thought the writing was good and I won't rule out reading this author's work in the future, but this book didn't do it for me.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the pubisher.*
Profile Image for Mephala.
312 reviews10 followers
September 6, 2021
I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t click with me. Which is really a shame, because the characters were nice – the whole series had me at “socially awkward wallflowers” – and the premise seemed interesting. A rake and a shy, maybe even insecure wallflower? Right up my alley. I know it’s probably a trope written to death at this point, but I honestly love it so much. And yet, in this book even that didn’t make me enjoy this one much.

I was invested in Caleb and Imogen’s story for about first half of the book.
The abrupt sex scene didn’t bother me that much, although I agree it made the story’s pacing really uneven. It might appear surprisingly early on in their relationship, but for me the second moment the main couple had sex felt more off, like it didn’t quite match the very emotional, almost cathartic mood the ending seemed to aim for.

But those, even if more or less awkward, did not impact my enjoyment of the story. To be honest, it was the characters jumping from one decision to the other; the unnecessary adding to the drama, without a good tension. The main conflict never changed, and its impact was established early on in the book. There was so much thinking and changing minds, the last seventeen or so chapters felt like double that. Honestly, I think the book was too long. Thirty four chapters might not seem like a lot, but trust me – it felt longer. Moreover, the build up to Caleb's role in his brother's death made me think it was something really horrendous, or at least in any way actually his fault. It really wasn't.

It didn’t help that Imogen and Caleb seemed to lose their spark as the story unfolded. I might be in minority, but for me they didn’t even have much chemistry to begin with. Yes, in the few instances their banter was good, but that was it. Their interactions for the most part felt dry. No to mention, Caleb was not really as charming as I’d think a renowned rake could be.

Sadly, my mind wondered a lot while reading, and I felt tired after the book ended. It is a well written and constructed story, it just didn’t grab me.

Nevertheless, I plan to read the rest of the series.

~3/5 stars
Profile Image for Brenda.
2,528 reviews22 followers
March 21, 2018
Publisher's Description:

A witty Regency Romance from 2017 Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Winner Christina Britton, perfect for fans of Julia Quinn and Tessa Dare.

An aging spinster at twenty-six, all Imogen Duncan sees ahead of her is a life of servitude to her overbearing mother. Her London Season has passed and her desperate shyness and reserved demeanor have destroyed any chance for a match. As her younger sister Mariah begins her own Season with a selection of suitors, Imogen believes her chances for excitement are well and truly lost…Until a case of mistaken identity and an accidental kiss bring adventure into her life.

Burying his guilt from a decade-old tragedy beneath a life of debauchery, Caleb Masters, Marquess of Willbridge is content enough to meet willing widows in dark gardens to numb the pain. But he is wholly unprepared when an innocent miss stumbles into his life, turning his superficial world on its head.

Drawn to the rogue that mistakenly stole her first kiss, Imogen finds not a suitor, but a friend. Free to be herself for the first time in her life, she begins to see a new beauty in the world around her…and see a strength in herself she never knew she possessed. But when friendship turns to passion, Imogen will accept nothing less than Caleb’s heart. Can a healing of the past lead to the promise of a future together?

My Thoughts:

This is this author's début novel. It is essentially a well written effort but I found it a bit drawn out.
There are many times in the last ten chapters or so that our story could have come to it's HEA ending but the continuous roadblocks frustrated me as a reader.
Imogen and Caleb both have their issues with love and marriage.
Imogen has had her seasons but never took as it is and now it's her younger sister's turn.
Her mother is the ultimate dragon of a regency mother with a one track mind, find a match for her young daughter. Never mind that Imogen also deserves her own happily ever after.
Caleb accidentally encounters Imogen when she goes to a darkened garden to escape the vicious tongues of other members of the ton.
There Imogen gets her first kiss when Caleb mistakes her for another.
Imogen becomes enthralled by this man she knows as a rake.
Caleb decides he must know who the lady is and offers her something else she has never had, friendship.
The concept is a good one and for the most part I enjoyed this read.
I gave this book 4 of 5 stars for storyline and character development and a sensual rating of 3.5 of 5.0 flames.
When the intimacy comes to fruition it is somewhat of a surprise, but it doesn't change Imogen's attitude. Caleb on the other hand has found something unexpected.
I received a complimentary digital ARC of this book from the publisher to read via NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
Profile Image for Suze.
1,878 reviews1,310 followers
May 12, 2018
Imogen is the ugly duckling of her family. Her mother's constant unkind remarks have destroyed Imogen's confidence and she hasn't been able to find a husband, because she's too shy to put herself out there. She's now twenty-six years old and has accepted she'll never marry and will be the daughter who's destined to take care of her parents when they age. Imogen's only reason to attend balls is to support her beautiful sister, who has her first Season and hopes to find a good husband. Imogen longs to have an adventure, but doesn't think she'd ever manage to escape her dull existence, until she meets Caleb.

Caleb is a rakish marquess with a broken heart. He doesn't want to get married and doesn't think he'll ever love anyone. When he accidentally kisses Imogen he isn't prepared for the feelings she stirs in him. He truly sees Imogen, she isn't an ugly spinster, she's actually a beautiful and clever woman with an abusive mother. Imogen could use a friend and Caleb wants to be that friend. He decides to spend more time with the woman he finds incredibly intriguing. He soon discovers Imogen is a woman he could have a relationship with, however Imogen doesn't want to tie herself to a man who can't give her love. Will they have a future together?

With Love in Sight is a beautiful romantic story. Imogen is a fantastic strong woman. Her mother's snide remarks might have made her uncertain about her looks, but she's stunning inside and out. She's also witty and clever and she knows what she wants. I loved Imogen's amazing spirit. Caleb has to fight for her, she doesn't just give him what he wants. I admired her determination, her values and her resilience. Caleb is struggling with the pain of his past and Imogen's kind heart has a healing effect on him. They are wonderful together and I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to find out if they'd find their happily ever after.

Christina Britton has written a gorgeous descriptive story. I fell in love with With Love in Sight from the first sentence. It's such a sweet and charming book. I liked that Caleb and Imogen have multilayered personalities. They help each other flourish, which is incredible to witness. I'm a big fan of stories about true love and With Love in Sight is definitely a good one. I was enchanted by this delightful story and highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Maria Dariotis .
758 reviews15 followers
March 15, 2018
Debut Release by Christina Britton
With Love in Sight (Twice Shy book 1)

Imogen Duncan has been overshadowed by her beautiful sisters all her life.
First upon her debut her sister Francis and now at twenty-six by her younger sister Mariah. A wallflower at balls she’s not permitted to wear her glasses lest she bring shame to her family and ruin her sisters chances at a good match.
Always invisible always forgotten, her life one of spinsterhood and perhaps the care of her parents...until she literally runs into Caleb Masters the Marquess of Willbridge!

Caleb Masters is a man tortured by guilt and lives a life of sin and debauchery in excess. Nothing can take away the past for the last ten years he’s managed to put aside his demons in the arms of lonely widows, until a chance encounter with Imogen Duncan and THE kiss that turned his world upside down.
Imogen has her own insecurities to confront but will friendship and passion be enough that can end up empty like her sisters life or is she willing to be a spinster and alone?

This was a heart wrenching story of a woman who was overlooked by society and her family - her sisters and father truly loved her except for her dragon of a mother, didn’t care for her at all!
Until she develops a unlikely friendship with Caleb - a much sought after rogue. Both have secrets that are kept hidden, emotionally both were scarred. Imogen needs to be loved but can Caleb put the past behind him and truly give her the one thing she wants most? His Heart!

I really enjoyed this debut novel by Christina Britton, loved the characters they were likeable and the storyline was well developed. The chemistry was sensual and steamy. Caleb was a gentleman and thoughtful of Imogene feelings, he didn’t trick or deceive her in accepting his proposal. Even though she made it difficult, he eventually saw the light.
I highly recommend this new author, I wasn’t disappointed.
I recieved a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This is my honest unbiased opinion.
Profile Image for Terre J.
429 reviews
March 12, 2018
Oh my! Loved this book with a delightful H and h! Unfortunately I read the first few chapters just before coming down with the flu, and must have set it aside and forgotten I had started it, then when I was feeling better read several other books. Happened to come upon it and thought I had read it, but couldn’t recall the story completely and looked it up on Goodreads and realized I hadn’t finished it and did so, loved it.
Imogen is a spinster sister of a beautiful younger sister, and resigned to never marry. Fleeing a ball to the gardens she inadvertently finds herself in the arms of a rake, being soundly kissed, her first kiss. He has , of course, mistaken her for someone else, but comes to her aid, realizing her distress at the time. Interestingly, he is drawn to find her, but doesn’t know her name. By chance, he meets up with friends visiting her sister and does find her name, a friendship ensues. They become closer and attend the same house party, as friends. During the house party their relationship deepens, resulting in his proposal. With no declaration of love she refuses. He doesn’t wish to lose her, and as the family returns home, he continues his pursuit. Did I mention her mother is a shrew? Quite overbearing and cruel, and dismissive of her daughter attracting any man. Our H insists upon further opportunity to win her. He is estranged from his family but decides to invite her and her father to meet them, a big step for him. Needless to say, she helps his family heal, and eventually we have our HEA, but not without some tears. I received a free arc in exchange for an honest review.
319 reviews
May 14, 2018
I received a free copy of With Love In Site in exchange for an honest review.
What a great story. It had a unique plot, and it was so easy to fall in love with Imogen and Caleb. They were polar opposites, but Caleb was "all in!" Great book that I would recommend to friends. And family.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
178 reviews
March 6, 2018
I received With Love in Sight by Christina Britton from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. It is the first in her Twice Shy Series. I have never read anything from Christina Britton and this was a delightful introduction to her.
Imogen Duncan is a twenty-six year old spinster whose destiny is to be in servitude of her parents. Caleb Masters is the Marquess of Willbridge living in guilt and numbing his pain with debauchery. When Imogen flees a party and lands in Caleb’s arms, an unlikely friendship develops into more.
This was a delightful book that I greatly enjoyed. I loved the fact that Christina started Caleb and Imogen’s relationship as friendship. It makes it much more enjoyable. As the story unfolds, both find their feeling changing and shifting and both struggle with that.
The ending fit the storyline. No explosive last minute kidnapping (or anything else!) The HEA was more of a normal relationship evolution that happens in all relationships I think. I look forward to more HEAs from Christina Britton. #WithLoveinSight #NetGalley
Profile Image for Jennifer.
178 reviews
March 6, 2018
I received With Love in Sight by Christina Britton from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. It is the first in her Twice Shy Series. I have never read anything from Christina Britton and this was a delightful introduction to her.
Imogen Duncan is a twenty-six year old spinster whose destiny is to be in servitude of her parents. Caleb Masters is the Marquess of Willbridge living in guilt and numbing his pain with debauchery. When Imogen flees a party and lands in Caleb’s arms, an unlikely friendship develops into more.
This was a delightful book that I greatly enjoyed. I loved the fact that Christina started Caleb and Imogen’s relationship as friendship. It makes it much more enjoyable. As the story unfolds, both find their feeling changing and shifting and both struggle with that.
The ending fit the storyline. No explosive last minute kidnapping (or anything else!) The HEA was more of a normal relationship evolution that happens in all relationships I think. I look forward to more HEAs from Christina Britton. #WithLoveinSight #NetGalley
Profile Image for P Leslie.
2,693 reviews17 followers
March 27, 2018
*I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinion stated are solely my own and no one elses*

Fate brings Imogen and Caleb together by mere chance, due to mistaken identity: yet the passionate kiss that follows leaves them hungering for more.

I loved the sizzling chemistry between Imogen and Caleb. An unexpected friendship turns into a sweet, heart consuming yet beautiful relationship. My heart broke for Caleb - he carried so much burden on his shoulders but it took a special woman to see the pain he was hiding. Imogen isn’t given the opportunity to shine and her own mum pushes her into the background instead of encouraging and supporting her daughter; she ridicules and puts Imogen down repeatedly. These two hid behind a mask but their friendship gives them the strength, confidence and courage to do things differently.

This was a fantastic read and I enjoyed every second of it. A fun, sizzling yet emotional story about two people who find friendship and love when they least expect it.
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