Author: Eloisa James
Provided Synopsis: As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.
Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.
Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain…he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.
Which Mia will never do.
Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.
Review: When she was fifteen years old, Mia was in love with Vander. Because of the close relationship between his mother and her father, tensions between the two teenagers are already high. It is, however, when Vander receives a piece of poetry that Mia wrote in his honor that the unforgivable occurs: he and his friends pick apart her choice of words and insult her; she is within the room to hear. From that moment on, Mia swears that her love for Vander is dead, and even tells him to his face that she would never marry him even if he were the last man in England.
But more than a decade later she is at his door, prepared to blackmail him into accepting her hand.
I absolutely loved the prologue chapter, and thought that it was to go on to be the creation of one of my favorite Eloisa James’ stories. But this was not to be. Even though I understood the reasons, Mia’s blackmail and his initial and lewd reaction to it were not the start of a love story I wanted to read. Matters were only made worse as the hero, Vander, continued to speak, often saying the most hurtful things about her in concerns to her behavior and her appearance. I cheered for her as she would stand up to him and point out that she deserved to find a man who did not think of her the way he did, because it was completely true. He said too many cruel things and treated her as an object — with constant thoughts of how she was his wife, his duchess, his, his, his — to be forgiven in my eyes. The attempt to redeem him within the last five pages also did not work for me, because I did not understand his rationale behind possessiveness being his love nor did I believe in the presented keepsake. Vander did not work for me, thus this book came off as a very large disappointment. I wish Mia had left.
As for what I did like? The supporting characters (Thorn and India need a sequel! Especially since it was mentioned they still write letters to each other!), Mia’s fiction, and the horse.