As small children, Jamie and Jack Merrick were given away, and both endured a hard life. When Jamie learns he’s actually the first born son of a wealthy man, he quickly takes legal action to gain control of his assets. His half brother and sister may have lost the battle, but neither one is willing to give up their life of leisure.
Anne Carstairs and her sister Sarah have lived at Gladstone most of their lives after being orphaned at a young age. Though there is no love lost between them and their cousins, they at least have a roof over their heads. Neither woman is sure what to feel about Jamie’s appearance.
One condition of Jamie’s acquiring Gladstone is he must marry Anne. But he’s taken by surprise when she doesn’t meekly acquiesce. Anne may be attracted to the handsome lord, but has no desire to marry him. As determined as Jamie is to marry Anne, Ophelia and Percy are determined to kill him and take back what they feel is rightfully theirs.
Anne may be attracted to Jamie, and surprised and confused by her body’s reaction to him, but she wants to marry for love, not be tied forever to a man who makes it clear he has no plans to honor his wedding vows. What she doesn’t realize is Jamie has been betrayed by everyone he’s gotten close to and as a result has learned to keep himself emotionally withdrawn to prevent future heartache.
A secondary romance adds even more dimension to this delightful romance. Ms. Holt once again charms us with a story filled with characters that may not be perfect, yet have the strength to strive to become better. And those who revel in being wicked will surely get what they deserve.