A notorious rake is about to make the ultimate faux pas—fall in love with his own wife.
Gil Truman has eyes only for the beautiful Tilly—until he is forced to marry plain, sickly Rose Davenport to reclaim the lands his father foolishly gambled away. After a disastrous wedding night tainted with his bitterness, he deposits Rose at his remote Northumbrian estate, soothing his guilt with the thought that she need never lay eyes on him again.
Five years after the mortifying wedding night that destroyed all her romantic fantasies, Rose is fed up with hearing second- and third-hand reports of Gil’s philandering ways. She is no longer the shy, homely girl he left behind, but a strong, confident woman who knows how to run an estate. And knows what she wants—her husband, back in their marriage bed.
Gil doesn’t recognize the bold, flirtatious woman he meets at a ball, with or without her mask. Yet he is bewitched and besotted, and their night together is the most passionate he has ever known.
But when he confesses his sins to the beautiful stranger, the truth rips open the old wounds of their blighted history. Threatening any hope of a future together.
Contains a flawed hero who can be redeemed with the right woman—the one who’s been under his nose the whole time. Ain’t that just like a man?
I really enjoyed this book. The hero was a total asshat, for the most part, but I did enjoy it. I loved the fact that the heroine was not TSTL…but something didn’t sit too well with me. I can’t quite out my finger on it. Part of it is the fact that the heroine (Rose) was very willing to forgive her husband’s actions without requiring him to be accountable. But Rose’s backstory – and her age – all conspire to make her actions very plausible. I have to admit that I didn’t quite understand how she was able to keep her tender feelings for her husband after 5 years of neglect, but it did make for an angsty read.
I kind of have the same feelings about the hero. He’s portrayed as a handsome, intelligent and (mostly) kind man. It was difficult to marry that image of him with the cheating cheater-face that he acted. While I can understand his angry and hurt over the forced marriage…he seemed to take it a lot farther than I expected. To be so intelligent but completely clueless at the same time – he was nonplussed to learn that his wife was subject to tons and tons of painful gossip and he didn’t think he had any real blame in the issues in his marriage. I did appreciate the fact that the heroine called him on his asshat-ness…but yet and still something didn’t sit well with me.
I would recommend this book, however. It kind of bothers me that I don’t have more nice things to say about the book. I thought several scenes were very touchingly sad and I managed to read the entire book in one sitting.