Published: August 2017 by Avon
Average Goodreads rating: 4.09
My rating: 4/5
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…
Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
That is right, it is Valentine’s Day again which means it is time for my yearly romance review! Admittedly I didn’t do much research before choosing a book this year, I just popped into the library and grabbed the first one by a romance author I’d heard of that wasn’t Nora Roberts. When you are taking a four year old to the adult section of the library you have to be quick about these things, folks. If you take more than thirty seconds to make a choice they start pulling books of the shelf and moving them, telling you to “pick the purple one, mommy!” Then they dissolve into tears when you don’t pick the purple one. It isn’t pretty. Just one of those things ya’ll should be aware of before procreating.
Lets be honest, I’ve been sick lately and one of my favorite things to do when sick is curl up in my husband’s big, comfy chair and read a mindless romance novel. I require a strong heroine, a big bristly man, and enough steamy scenes to keep me entertained. I’ll have none of this clean romance, no sir. This book filled the bill.
We begin, as most romances do, with a woman, Emma, who has a problem and is a little desperate to fix it. In this case, she is a down on her luck seamstress who wasn’t paid for her work on a wedding gown and needs the funds to keep the roof over her head. Her solution? Go to the duke who had ordered the wedding gown for his intended before the relationship fell apart and demand payment for services rendered. Emma is a strong woman who has learned how to take care of herself after being kicked out of her childhood home by a selfish, unsympathetic, and ghastly excuse for a father.
The duke, Ash (rather unfortunate name), was badly injured during the war and was left visibly disfigured with burn scars down the entirety of one side of his body. To keep his vast estate from going to his feckless relative he has produce an heir, and soon. Ash thinks that because of his disfigurement that no woman of standing would want him so, when Emma shows up demanding payment, he decides that she will fill the bill. It will solve his problem and it will lift her from the life of poverty she currently lives in. Win-win.
What follows is a battle of wills. Her will to help Ash emotionally heal from his injuries and realize that he is still a good man and his will to push her away for use as a broodmare only.
Of course, the whole thing is concluded and both parties are happy. Emma gets her way and Ashbury realizes that he has been an idiot. All’s well that ends well.
If you are the type that doesn’t like explicit sex scenes, I will say that this book isn’t for you. They have intercourse multiple times and it is talked about nearly every other page. But, for a Valentine’s Day read, it wasn’t too shabby at all.