Book Review: What Happens in the Ballroom by Sabrina Jeffries

About the Book:

Title: What Happens in the Ballroom

Author: Sabrina Jeffries

Series: Designing Debutantes #2

Page Length: 288

Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Publisher: Zebra Books

Synopsis: From one of the best-known names in historical romance, New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries, comes the second in her dazzling Designing Debutantes series featuring a talk-of-the-ton trio of young women who’ve eschewed working as governesses to utilize their talents for fashion, food, and music, by running their own party planning enterprise, Elegant Occasions. And if they, and their wealthy clients, happen to find love along the way, it just makes their efforts all the more rewarding!

A youthful widow, Eliza Pierce is enjoying both freedom and financial success as part of Elegant Occasions. Then her late husband’s best friend, Nathaniel Stanton, the Earl of Foxstead, hires Elegant Occasions to help another young widow of an officer become part of high society, and Eliza wonders why. Is the woman a relative? Or is she the earl’s mistress and her adorable toddler his child? If so, why does he take Eliza in his arms every chance he gets . . .

Foxstead’s family situation makes it difficult for him to marry, so his visceral attraction to Lieutenant Pierce’s widow is an unwelcome complication. Sworn to secrecy concerning his friend’s life in the army, Foxstead is trying to honor the man’s last wishes, even when it means being around Eliza every day. But how can he resist when the fetching Eliza keeps tempting him to break his own rules? For if he dares to expose the truth, will she ever forgive him? Or will she banish him from her life forever . . .

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

I always jump at the chance to read a book by Sabrina Jeffries. She writes such swoon-worthy romances, and the love story between Eliza and Nathaniel is fantastic!

A young military widow, Eliza is the eldest of the Pierce sisters. She’s a strong woman, dependable and respectable, and she works hard. Eliza has no plans to remarry, but she is so drawn to Nathaniel, and I don’t blame her! As her husband’s friend and the ward of a young woman intent to marry, Nathaniel struggles with his feelings for Eliza, his responsibilities, and his conscience. He makes mistakes and poor decisions, but ultimately, he is a good man with a big heart, and he easily won mine. I also love that Eliza doesn’t put up with any nonsense. She knows what she wants and what she deserves.

Nathaniel is officially being added to my list of swoon-worthy book boyfriends. I adore him, and the way he feels about Eliza is EVERYTHING! Every time he called her “Dearling,” I could feel my heart squeeze, and there was a scene at the end that literally had me swooning. But Nathaniel is keeping secrets from Eliza, and he knows revealing them will break her heart. They have a great romance filled with terrific banter, tons of chemistry, and some wonderfully spicy scenes.

I thought this was a great read. It’s fun and entertaining, the banter is fantastic, and I love the sisters. I’m so excited for Verity’s story in the next book. There’s a character who has been on the periphery of the story, and Verity is determined to find out who it is. Me too! It sounds like Verity is going to have an adventure and romance as swoon-worthy as her sisters.

Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The sisters.

Favorite Lines:

“Every night while I was gone,” he whispered, “I imagined you in my bed. You have bewitched me with your voice and scent and lovely laugh. I hear your singing in my dreams.”

Love wasn’t always enough. Trust and truthfulness were important, too.


I would definitely recommend What Happens in the Ballroom to historical romance readers or readers who are looking for a swoon-worthy love story.

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