When Edwin Barlow, the Earl of Blakeborough, agrees to help his best friend’s impetuous ward, Lady Clarissa Lindsey, in her time of need, he knows he’s in for trouble. He’s been hunting for someone to wed, and she’ll just get in the way. Although captivated by the whip-smart, free-spirited beauty, he fears she’d be all wrong as a wife … if she would even take such a gruff cynic for her husband. Too bad he wants nothing more than to have her for his own.

Clarissa has no intention of marrying anyone—not Edwin, whom she’s sure would be an overbearing husband, and certainly not the powerful French diplomat stalking her. But when matters escalate with the diplomat, she chooses Edwin’s gallant offer of a marriage between friends in hopes that it will deter her stalker. She expects nothing more than an amiable union, but their increasingly tempestuous kisses prove more than she bargained for. When her stalker’s vow to expose the lovers’ deepest secrets threatens to destroy their blossoming attraction, will their tenuous bond withstand public ruin, or will Edwin lose all that’s important to him to protect his bride?


I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first book in this series, and while I enjoyed that book, I felt like it still lacked something I could not put my finger on. This book, though, I didn’t have any complaints. I liked the fact that aside from a love story, a touch of suspense was added to the plot to make things more interesting. I also liked the conflict in this book.

I love an artist hero, that was what I enjoyed in the first book. However, this book’s hero was just as good and as entertaining. The heroine was a bit frustrating at times. I guess this is where I would say that I liked the other book’s heroine better. I like that both characters here didn’t fall in love instantly. Instead, the love and the character development was a process that unfolded through the entire book.

I have to be honest and say that there are still other historical romance novels that I loved more, but this book right here is a solid read that HR fans will surely enjoy.


Sabrina Jeffries is the NYT bestselling author of over 50 novels and works of short fiction (some written under the pseudonyms Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas). Whatever time not spent writing in a coffee-fueled haze of dreams and madness is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions—jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and music. With over 8 million books in print in 20 different languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction, and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world.

She always dreams big.

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