New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas returns with an enthralling and steaming romance between a widowed lady and a Scot on the run—who may have connections to one of London’s most noble families.
“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”
Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.
From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.
So far, neither of those is going well.
Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals his secret connection to one of England’s most powerful families. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.
Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves… even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.
Lady Merritt Sterling is the widowed daughter of an earl. She had been married for less than two years when her husband, Joshua, died while traveling to his native America. Since that time, she has been running his shipping business, while training her younger brother for that role. When an angry client bursts into her office after an unfortunate incident with his merchandise, Merritt finds herself undeniably attracted to the man.
Keir MacRae is a Scottish distiller, and when his precious cargo of fine whisky is not where it should be, he goes straight to the top for some answers. Keir’s anger is defused by Merritt’s calm handling of the circumstances, as well as her promise to put the situation to rights. When Keir somehow finds himself taken under Merritt’s wing, with fresh clothes, lodging, food, and a dinner invitation, he seems unable to refuse.
Keir is unexpectedly attacked while en route to dinner at Merritt’s home, but he manages to get there, despite his injuries. After some patching up, they begin to converse like old friends, despite the huge difference in their social standing. When Keir plans to take his leave, Merritt (whom he calls “Merry”) invites him to stay for just one night, with no strings attached. Their passion for each other is off the charts, leaving them physically satisfied, but unhappy at their different lives, which allows no way for them to be together.
When Keir is attacked yet again, this time almost fatally, it’s clear that someone desperately wants him dead. Merritt flaunts convention and takes Keir to her home, determined to nurse him back to health. I love Merritt to pieces – she’s a force to be reckoned with. She gets her way by calmly knocking down every obstacle in her path, yet doing it with kindness and a smile. Her first marriage was an affectionate one, but can’t compare to the new and exciting feelings she has for Keir, and she’ll do what she has to in order to keep him alive. Keir’s injury is so serious that it seems to preclude any slim chance they do have of a future together. Merritt is the daughter of old friends, Lillian and Marcus, from IT HAPPENED ONE AUTUMN in the WALLFLOWER series. Keir is slower in coming to realize that he and Merry belong together, but once he does, his actions will be sighworthy. It turns out that Keir also has a tie to another beloved character from the WALLFLOWER series, but I won’t spill the beans for those who have yet to read this book. I adored that series so much, and it’s wonderful to visit them decades into the future and observe their children’s lives. DEVIL IN DISGUISE has a bit of mystery, warm family love, and a tender and quite steamy romance. This all makes for a joyful read, and the epilogue is golden! ~Rose