Maura Darby is an impressive heroine. As a ward of the family, she does everything society dictates, yet she’s constantly beaten down and blamed for everything. Including the latest debacle in this household. The family is trying to marry off their daughter, but the intended groom keeps harassing Maura! And of course, it’s HER fault for seducing him. (I’m glad she escapes this cruel “family”)
Since the groom can’t keep his hands off Miss Darby, and the mother and daughter are screaming she’s always beguiled the potential suitors, the father calls in a highly recommended fixer. The marriage between his daughter and the son of his partner must happen to cement their new business partnership.
Nichol Bain thinks the fathers should’ve been able to put an end to this nonsense themselves. Therefore, he quotes a pricey fee and thinks of an easy fix. He’ll marry Maura off to one of his bachelor friends. She’ll have a fine home and husband, the arranged wedding can go forward once she’s out of the house, & Mr. Bain collects a tidy sum for his efforts. But Miss Darby is more than he bargained for.
Maura has had enough of people ruling over her with no regard to what she wants or needs. Every decision thrust upon her, has made her life more difficult with every passing day. She decides she can make better choices for her life. As Mr. Bain escorts her to her future home, Miss Darby expresses her thoughts and feelings- rather adamantly. Nichol admires her spunk, but patiently explains that she can’t. In the 1750’s, a man must be responsible for her.
He’s too sweet, too understanding. Maura sees him as a good man who would respect her opinion if they were together. Their friendship has captivated her heart and she doesn’t intend to let him go. Nichol, who loves a challenge and a woman with moxie, is drawn to the raven-haired beauty in ways he never thought possible. He soon finds himself on a magnificent estate, trying to give away the only woman to ever touch his heart.
This book was such a joy to read. It had villains I could raise my fist in anger to. It had a heroine who I respected and could root for. It had twists, surprises and action. And let’s not forget the hunky Scot who actually stands up for poor Miss Darby. Friendship, esteem and loyalty are slowly earned by both the hero and heroine’s actions, making the love that eventually develops real and lasting.
I really don’t think you have to be a fan of historical romance to enjoy this book. If you ARE a fan, you’ll LOVE it.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from the author, free of charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
No rehab needed. One-click with a clear conscience!
Other reading suggestions
We put together a list not too long ago that featured some of our all-time favorite historical romances that crushed the romance stigma. Check it out!