Blythe Ashton was married for a year, but wasn't a wife for even a day as her husband abandoned her shortly after saying "I do". After learning her husband had died while with his mistress, his cousin the Duke (Michael Ashton) shows up at her home claiming he's come to meet his cousin's widow. The Duke, however, is trying to unravel the mystery and scandal involving stolen money and his believed dead cousin. At first Michael suspects Blythe was in on her husband's scheme but the more he learns of her the more he believes her innocence in the theft and he also starts to fall in love with her. The story had me from the first sentence and I could not stop reading. I finished it in one day! I got emotionally involved with the characters and was compelled to keep reading to find out how all would be resolved. I loved it!!!
I wanted to rate this book higher, but when I sat down and thought what I liked and disliked about it, I came about even on the "like" and "dislike" lists.
I liked Blythe. I really liked Bethie (even though she started out as a 5-year-old and somewhere became 7 and her actions/speech never really made it clear how old she was.) Michael was okay. Kind of standard, but it was nice that Blythe didn't have to "teach" him to "love." He actually *gasp* figured that one out on his own.
Thomas does not seem to have a history of misbehavior, which makes his seductions and serial "marriages" seem very sudden, unmotivated and strange. Even though he does not appear in the book for more than a couple of pages, his actions drive the plot, and I felt his motivations and character should have been revealed more in the story.
The book would have been immeasurably better with a total rewrite of Abigail. The first 1/2 to 2/3 is...
IN some ways, this felt like two stories in one. The first half, and the second half. First half was the country setting, second half was the city setting. They didn't mesh together well, not because the author moved the plot from the country to the city, but becauseit seemed so easy for our main couple to accept defeat and go back to their dutiful lives.
The heroine was uneven, she was virginal, yet she seemed to very easily fall into bed with our hero. I actually went back to re-read the one and only love scene, because I remembered I was reading a regency, and this gal has never been with a man, and should have had a lot of modesty and shyness to the whole experience. Now, I don't want it to be overdone, but it felt completely unrealistic. There was not enough build up of why she'd want to, to explain why she did.
The author also gives the hero a precocious full of mischief 7 year old daughter. When you drop a character like that in a story, by their...
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