The beginning is certainly promising and entertaining, then comes the lengthy battle of will they or won't they make a go of it?
Catherine and Crispin fall in love, but neither is willing to admit it to the other, certain that the love is all one sided. Lots of misunderstandings keep this perfect pair apart. What a waste of time, when they could be together happily.
The writing is up to Ms. Eden's usual standard and the regency romance enthusiasts will be satisfied with the manners and story.
One minor thing not wrapped up by the story's end was the uncle's true motivation. I wanted that tidbit of information to help fill in his bullying character, which was frightful to say the least.
Be prepared for some deeper subject matter and an emotional tug of war.
When Crispin, Lord Cavratt, thoroughly and scandalously kisses a serving woman in the garden of a country inn, he assumes the encounter will be of no consequence. But he couldn't be more mistaken, the maid is not only a lady of birth, she's the niece of a very large, exceptionally angry gentleman, who claims Crispin has compromised his niece beyond redemption. The dismayed young lord has no choice but to marry Miss Catherine Thorndale, who lacks both money and refinement and assumes all men are as vicious as her guardian uncle. Trapped between an unwanted marriage and a hasty annulment, which would leave his reputation tainted and Catherine's utterly ruined, Crispin begins guiding his wife's transformation from a socially petrified country girl to a lady of society. Their unfolding relationship reveals encouraging surprises for both of them, and privately, each of them wonders if theirs may become a true marriage of the heart. But their hopes are dashed when forces conspire to split asunder what fate has granted, and as a battle of wits escalates into a life-threatening confrontation, will it be possible for Crispin and Catherine to live happily ever after?