Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is a laser-focused, analytical, moneymaking machine. When he became duke, the title was in a total mess with no money in the coffers and debts running out its ears. He knew it was his job to protect his family, protect his tenants, and protect the duchy, so his one focus became that of making money. Fortunately, he was very, very good at it and he is now one of the richest and most powerful people in England. What he is not good at is emotions – because he has no heart. At least that is his belief. His father was a cruel and hateful man who used Hugh’s mother and brother to keep Hugh in line. So now, at the ripe old age of four and thirty, it is time for him to take a wife and set up his nursery. Fortunately, his requirements for a wife are very simple – she needs to be quiet and not bother him – and she needs to provide him with his heir and spare. He doesn’t plan to fall in love – or even like – and doesn’t expect his wife to love him either. It will be strictly a business arrangement and therefore he’s set his secretary to finding and choosing his bride. Goodness, goodness, goodness – will these men never learn?
Penelope Pettypeace is every bit as bold, intuitive, organized, efficient, and focused as Kingsland and that is why they work so well together. She was amazed when he hired her as his secretary about eight years earlier. She had boldly walked into his office and proceeded to convince him that she was the perfect secretary for him even though she was NOT what he had advertised for. Now, he’s assigned her the most daunting task yet – she is to choose his wife. That is going to be a very, very difficult thing to do because she has come to care deeply for the man. She knows he doesn’t reciprocate those feelings – and even if he did, nothing could come of it. So, she’ll do her best to find him a bride who will make him happy – even though he doesn’t know that is what he needs. Penelope’s past has caused her to reinvent herself time after time, but she’s been Penelope Pettypeace longer than she’s ever been anybody else. She knows there will come a time when her unsavory past will catch up to her again and she’ll have to move on – but not today – please not today.
Penelope and Hugh both have some very deep, very dark secrets. Secrets they share with absolutely no one else. Those secrets are much too dark to share – for anyone else to know. Yet, just as they have come to realize they share an interest in each other, those secrets threaten to come to light. Is it Hugh’s secrets or Penelope’s that are about to come to light? They’ll have to find out and deal with the threat of exposure. Will their fledgling relationship survive?
We met Hugh and Penelope in the first book of the series, Scoundrel of My Heart, and I couldn’t wait to read their book. You don’t have to have read that book to enjoy this one, but it is such a good book, why wouldn’t you want to read it? This series is actually a spin-off of the Sins For All Seasons series – which is also a great series.
I definitely recommend this book! While Penelope had known for a long time that she cared for Hugh, it was wonderful to see Hugh come to the realization that what he really needed had been under his nose all along. I hope you’ll read and enjoy this book as much as I did. Now, I can hardly wait for Marcus’s book!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.