Justin Maddox, whom readers met In The Bed of a Duke, has come to London with his twin, Philip. He is still learning the differences between being a Scottish blacksmith and a Duke of the realm when Philip steps aside so the rightful heir can be acknowledged. Living with the oppressed clans has given Justin a unique perspective on British politics and he is wrestling with his conscience and overwhelmed by recent events. Since he agreed to come to the Dunroy party, he must remain, but a bit of quiet reflection in the library is just what he needs.
Francesca Dunroy has done something monumentally stupid. The young heiress, sheltered until her debut, thought that Penthorpe wanted to marry her despite her fortune. When she met him at his apartments she learned that money was his sole motivation, she barely escaped with her virtue (thanks to a well placed kick). Unfortunately, she left behind her motherís pearl necklace. She must get it back, and has asked the rogue to meet her in the library to return it.
A darkened room and a case of mistaken identity leave Justin and Francesca in a compromising position. Thankfully no one has seen them together, thanks to Justinís quick action. Penthorpe proves he is no gentleman, however, and Francesca must come up with another plan to retrieve her necklace. As Fate would have it, Justinís apartments are in the same building, and the duo is destined to meet again.
Cathy Maxwellís latest novel, Bedding the Heiress, caught my attention immediately and held it as I devoured the pages to the final cliffhanger. Her characterization was perfect, and I could almost see them come to life on the page. Justin is in a political quagmire, caught between his duty and his conscience, but with Francesca at his side he knows he will do the right thing. I am looking forward to the final book in this series, which looks to be a page-turner.