Author: Julia London
Provided Synopsis: A plan born of desperation…
Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace’s wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.
…and altered by passion.
Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Jeffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace’s temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can’t resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Jeffrey might just see it as a new beginning.
Review: Grace Cabot must take action. Her mother is rapidly descending into madness, and if her condition is known it will ruin the marriage prospects of her and her three sisters. Unlike her sister, Honor, however, Grace does attempt to ruin others happiness in pursuit of safety; instead, Grace knowingly lures a man into a meeting that if timed properly will lead them to be discovered. A scandal means a marriage must occur, but Grace has the misfortune to trap the wrong man.
Jeffrey Donovan is the earl of a family that strides to be above censure. A scandalous marriage to Grace is the last thing he wants yet he is left no choice. When the newlywed couple journey home to begin their life together the trouble makes itself known. For Jeffrey suffers from OCD, along with some highly sexual thoughts (the connection between the two is never explained, so the reader has to suspend belief). He fears hurting his wife and dragging her into sexual deviancy with him.
I hate to say it, but that pretty must sums up this book. Other than learning about each other both emotionally and physically there is not much more for Grace and Jeffrey to do in this story. The author tried to add more towards the end with a scandal from Jeffrey’s brother, but not even that went much of anywhere. It is clear the journey the characters must travel is towards the realization that perfection is not everything; unfortunately the lesson did not hit the mark to be as heartfelt as I am sure was the intent. I read this book mindlessly with no attachment and I can see the same fate befalling others.
The best I can say is this book was better than it’s predecessor (The Trouble with Honor), because Grace was at least likeable.