Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release Date: June 20, 2019
Series: None/Stand Alone Title
Lady Emily Ravensthrorpe is hunting for a fern for her collection and trying to politely send Lord Markshall on his way, but he isn’t taking the hint. Lord Markshall is a danger to her reputation and her peace of mind – he is handsome and charming, a combination she has a hard time remaining impassive to. When they accidently end up falling into a mine shaft, she worries about her sister’s debut being ruined. Rescue efforts are unsuccessful and they end up staying the night in the pit. They talk and share one amazing kiss. Later he shares his greatest shame – he courted one sister and had an affair with the other, fathered a child and refused to marry her. Emily is appalled, Markshall wants to know her secret, she tells him she was engaged, but he died in a hunting accident. He knows there is more, but doesn’t press.
The next morning they are rescued, but there is a reporter there as well as her parents, so Markshall announces they are engaged. To save her reputation and by extension her sister’s, she plays along. But later she tell him they will have a fake engagement, just until her sister Connie’s come-out. He agrees because he doesn’t feel like he deserves her. But it appears that they have an enemy who is bent on destroying Emily’s reputation and soon a fake engagement isn’t enough to protect her.
Markshall is not all he appears to be, he wants Emily, but believes that his past behavior has made any chance for a happy future impossible, but when the gossip turns nasty and suggestive, Oscar will marry her to save her, but vows to keep her at arm length.
This was an interesting story, but at times I did feel confused, not sure what was real and what was imagined. The story is filled with secrets, lies, surprises, entertain banter and steamish love scenes. Both Oscar and Emily are flawed characters, each have things from the past that haunt them and that have made them the people they are today, love comes slowly and certainly isn’t readily embraced by either of them, but when they finally admit their love and put the past behind them, it is amazing and completely heartfelt.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an eARC that was provided to me.*