From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple…poised to discover the rapture of love.
There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself…
Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe…and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart – and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.
Harriet Pomeroy is a “spinster” amateur archeologist – specializing (read: obsessed) in animal fossils. She obtains the majority of her fossils from her explorations of a series of caves located near her home. The area (including the caves) is owned and “ruled by” the Earl of Blackthorne Hall, Gideon Westbrook.
Six years prior to the start of this novel Gideon “lost” his honor – he was engaged to the local Rector’s beautiful young daughter. One day she goes to Gideon and informs him that she is pregnant. He dissolves their engagement…and she goes home and shoots herself. Everyone – including Gideon’s parents – believed that it was Gideon who “ravished” his young and beautiful fiancee who he discards once she becomes pregnant. Gideon’s honor is besmirched throughout his small hometown – he becomes known as “The Beast of Blackthorne Hall” – as well as throughout the entirety of society. He throws himself into his work (managing his family’s many estates) for the next six years, growing more and more bitter.