From the blurb:
Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits—and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information.
Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him—even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love…and he cannot survive being fooled again.
I'm getting more and more into historical romance these days and branching out to try new-to-me authors, so I was excited to take a chance on this story. If you can get past the VERY slow start, you are in for a real treat. I found this book to be emotional, sexy, and smart, and the further I read the more I couldn't put it down.
I think part of the reason that this book was SO hard for me to get into was that I haven't read the first in the series. This book works well as a stand-alone, but it would have been helpful to know some of the background information from the first book. I also had to get used to the author's writing style. She is a little more... indirect in the way she writes. There is a lot for the reader to discover on his/her own, so you have to wade through a bit of text before you connect with the characters. But once I got there, I was there. I felt for both of the MCs and I was eagerly awaiting each page.
I loved that Alastair was NOT a rake. He was a one-woman kind of guy, and when he got scorned and cheated on by his first wife, he retreated into a very dark place. I liked that we got to see all the unpleasant sides of him, and that the romance was slow burn.
I liked Olivia too, and that we get to know her in bits and pieces over time. She showed the type of woman that was by her actions, and the author used a lot of showing instead of telling with her character.
I enjoyed this book greatly overall, and I would certainly read another book by this author in the future. It isn't as easily digestible as my usual choices for M/F historical romance, but it was a really well done story.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
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