Emily Chandler has been living in a pit of despair since her beloved fiance died four years ago while on a mission to India. They had such a loving and passionate relationship, that Emily feared for her own sanity after his death. She has gradually come somewhat back to life, but hasn’t re-entered society and definitely has no plans to ever love or marry. The pain of possible loss is just too great. Still, she can’t deny that American businessman, Brett Curtis, sets her blood boiling in more ways than one.
From their initial meeting, Emily has intrigued Brett. They snap at and banter with each other, but there is a strong underlying attraction that neither wants. Brett had his hear broken years ago by an English aristocrat who professed to love him, then jilted him, so he has no use for titled nobles. He’s constantly thrown in Emily’s company because she is the sister-in-law of his close friend and business associate.
Emily has reason to believe that her fiance may have been murdered, and as a last loving tribute to him, she’s determined to find out the truth. Unfortunately, it seems that she will need help, and the ideal candidate is Brett. Realizing that Emily will probably act rashly on her own if he doesn’t help, Brett agrees. As expected, the more time they spend together, the more their attraction to each other flares. Soon Emily has decided that while she’ll never love again, she likes the idea of an affair, and attempts to seduce Brett, who is trying his best to hold on to his honor and resist her.
It felt like the first half of this book moved very slowly, and it didn’t hold my attention. After the halfway point the action and the romance picked up. I liked Emily, though she was a bit of a sneak and a manipulator. She was also stubborn in her refusal to even consider loving again. Once I learned how deeply her grief affected her, I became more sympathetic. Brett is a strong, caring, and honorable man. He has somewhat of a temper, but he is one of those types who will bluster for a while, and then move on. His prejudice against nobility runs deep, though, and I wondered if he would be able to overcome it.
There is a mystery to solve, and the villain has a surprising motive. Both Emily and Brett have baggage to deal with before they can move on, and when they do, their passion and love sizzles. I haven’t read the previous two books in this series, and I didn’t feel lost reading this book. I enjoyed reading THE DAUGHTER OF AN EARL, and Victoria Morgan is an author I will definitely read in the future.
Reviewed by Bonnie