This book started out a little slow. To me, there was just too much time spent on Corrie obsessing over her sister’s death before she finally decides to take action. However, once that action starts, the story picks up and I was quite taken with the characters and the ensuing mystery. Corrie is a kind-hearted but outspoken young woman, both of which get her into trouble during her masquerade as a simple country mouse, but she pulls her ruse off quite well for a while and digs up tidbits of information here and there to lead her closer to solving her mystery.
Tremaine is another story. He grew up in a home where his father, for some inexplicable reason, detested him, so love has been scarce in his life. He takes his responsibilties as earl seriously, including blaming himself for the death of his first wife. When he sets his sights on Corrie, he never expects the feelings that flourish for her, nor does he expect her betrayal. But even her betrayal can’t stem his consuming desire. When they are forced to marry, revenge is on his mind but his new bride still isn’t what he thinks she is and he is determined not to lose another wife. He’s a lusty man and thinks he can live on lust alone. Corrie teaches him otherwise while he teaches her the depths of lovemaking. They also work very well together deadly events hit a little too close to home for Tremaine to ignore.
The story weaves in and out of the history of Tremaine’s family through Corrie’s attempts to find the answers to her sister’s death. You’re thrown in directions you don’t expect along with Corrie, and through it all you roll through the ups and downs of the depths of their growing feelings. Corrie never gives up to the pressure to stop her investigation and she never gives in to Tremaine when he’d rather subdue her curiosity with loving than talking. He learns there’s much more to a woman than her body, something more he can cherish forever. I ended up liking the man for that as much as his aggressive, domineering ways.
From the back cover:
As a viscount’s daughter, vivacious Coralee Whitmore is perfectly placed to write about London’s elite in the outspoken ladies’ gazette, Heart to Heart. But beneath her fashionable exterior beats the heart of a serious journalist.
So when her sister’s death is dismissed as suicide, Corrie vows to uncover the truth, suspecting the notorious Earl of Tremaine was Laurel’s lover and the father of her illegitimate child. Corrie infiltrates Castle Tremaine posing as a wide-eyed country relation whose charming figure — and reduced circumstances — make her irresistible to the confirmed scoundrel. But Corrie finds the earl is not all he seems…nor is she immune to his charms, however much she despises his caddish ways.
Far from a society column, Corrie’s life soon reads more like one of Mr. Dickens’s serials. But the danger of her ruse is hardly fictional: someone is bent on ensuring Corrie’s questions go unanswered — and unasked.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: