I’m very glad Ms. Martin didn’t place the bulk of this story in America, which had been my thought might happen when reading the two previous books and Rule’s promise to his dying father was mentioned. Not that America of the time wouldn’t have made a good backdrop, I just felt this series needed to continue and finish in England.
We do, however, get a little bit of both. The book begins in Boston where Rule has been working for Griffin Manufacturing, where high-quality armaments are made. His boss is impressed with Rule’s work, as well as Rule himself, and extends an offer that ultimately Rule can’t refuse. The man is dying and wants to make sure his then sixteen-year-old daughter is taken care of when the time comes. Throwing in part ownership of the company is the deal maker for Rule, and he departs for England a married man, to return in three years’ time to claim his bride.
He never gets that chance, however, when Violet shows up on his London doorstep now a nineteen-year-old woman who has been keeping her father’s business successful since his death, who knows her own mind, and who takes the bull by the horns, so to speak, to get what she wants. And she wants out of her farce of a marriage to a man who never came back for her.
But once Rule gets a glimpse of his wife, he thinks married life couldn’t be so bad with a woman like Violet to come home to every night. He talks her into giving him a chance to prove himself, giving them both a chance to see what being married could be like. Against her better judgment, Violet agrees to one month in England. And so the seduction begins. Along with the danger.
I did enjoy watching the rake become a husband. Rule has always done what he’s wanted without regard to anyone or anything. He’s never had any experience of love in his life aside from his brothers, so he’s not familiar with the emotion when it comes to women. He knows what feels good and goes for it. Violet, on the other hand, falls for her husband once again, and this time around it’s a grown-up love, but can Rule really change his ways to commit to one woman in his life? Would she be better off with the man she left behind in Boston?
In the middle of all the seduction going on, Rule is accused of murder, a case is built and he’s tossed in prison. This brings his family together to find the true culprit, which really doesn’t come as much of a surprise after some misdirection for a little doubt here and there is thrown in.
All in all, a good ending to the trilogy. These books don’t jump out and grab you as you read, but they’re solid stories that entertain. The Dewar brothers follow through on their promises to a dying father and find love along the way. We should all be so lucky.
Unrepentant rake Rule Dewar is living the good life
when a most surprising event occurs—
he falls in love with his wife.
After their strategic “marriage of commerce” three years ago, Rule quite forgot about Violet Griffin, the teenage heiress to a Boston manufacturing fortune. He simply spoke his vows, took over her father’s business and returned to England to resume his usual pursuits: high-priced wine, high-stakes gambling and high-born women.
Yet when Violet, now a sophisticated woman, unexpectedly appears at Rule’s London townhouse, husbandly duties no longer seem so odious—he can’t wait to take his stunning bride to their marriage bed. Violet, however, is not so easily led: she has her own ideas and is seeking an annulment to marry another. But as Rule attempts to win her over, someone else is determined to frame him for murder and keep him out of the way for good….
Read an excerpt. (scroll down)
Other books in this series: