It’s been years since Marcus set foot in England—why toy with the tonwhen he can fleece wealthy fools in Paris and Rome? Yet everything changes when he inherits a ramshackle estate. Marcus’s first and only chance at a respectable life needs funding . . . the kind Anne Brotherton can provide. Such a wallflower should be ripe for the picking. So why does Marcus fell like he’s the one hanging by a thread?
Anne Brotherton is sick and tired of being an heiress. She cannot bring herself to marry a fortune hunter. Why can’t men like her for her sharp mind and kind hearts rather than her impressive dowry? She nearly falls for Marcus’s smooth seduction. But when Anne realized she’s being strung along, a lust for payback empowers her like never before. Two can play the game of deception. The game of love, however, has its own rules.
He’s a disenfranchised nobleman’s son who has left England to fleece the rich and famous of Continental Europe. He’s a man who has found a way to live by his wits, love and leave the most beautiful women abroad, and to not think or feel too deeply. It’s safer and more comfortable that way. Yet when he inherits an estate he is also in the midst of what he and every professional gambler dreads: a very bad run of luck. And as it turns out he can’t even seem to reel in an heiress who appears to be ripe for the plucking. Yet Marcus appears to have met his match in the smart and wiley Anne Brotherton, a woman who could have had any fortune-hunting husband she wanted. She wants a man who cares about her, who values her as a person, who loves her mind as well as her body and her dowry.
This is a witty and decidedly fun read, one that will pique the sense of humor and tickle the funny bone. It is lighthearted in so many ways but there is that sense of shadow behind both these main characters. Both live with a sense of disillusionment even though Marcus has exploited weakness and knows how to spot it dead on. Anne is also a woman who has lost that sense of wonder of the world, and this book is really the story of some very different ways these two manage to recapture that verve and vitality that authentic loving impart. It doesn’t either appear to be or feel like a deeply intriguing story; that perception is inaccurate on many levels. There is a pervasive sadness in both these people that the author manages to keep in balance with the humor and deliciously funny repartee as each of these people works to find a place in the world where they feel at home.
It’s a well-written book, excellent use of the language with an economy of words. It’s a creative storyline that is well-developed and populated with colorful characters, many of whom have no gilt left, who used to sparkle and don’t anymore, but that’s OK. They’re are far more real now. I recommend this book as being a very entertaining read and one historical romance readers are sure to enjoy.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.