Gillie Trewlove is a tavern owner with an attitude who has no time for love. The Duke of Thornley is a jilted man searching for his bride when he’s attacked. After Gillie nurses him back to health, the pair sets off to find his would-be bride. Along the way, they begin to fall in love despite the difference in their classes.
The beginning of "When a Man Loves a Woman" was fantastic and had me hooked. I enjoyed Gillie and Thorne’s interactions and couldn’t wait to see where their search would lead them. That is until around the 40% mark when the conflict switched from searching for Thorne’s bride to a matter of Thorne and Gillie being unable to be together because she’s a commoner. It got old, fast.
I wasn’t sure from the previous book or the beginning of this one if I would like Gillie or not but she grew on me. I’ve read so many contemporary romances that seem to think a strong heroine needs to be obnoxious or cuss constantly. Gillie was a strong woman while still having some grace. I didn’t buy her not being attracted to any man before Thorne because she didn’t allow herself to be, though. Speaking of Thorne, aside from the fact that he wears spectacles (which I loved!), I can’t really tell you much about him. All the personality went to Gillie.
I did finish the book despite several slow spots and I was surprised by the ending because it wasn’t what I thought would happen. I’m not sure if I’ll read Finn’s story or not because I despise second chance romances.
Gillie Trewlove knows what a stranger’s kindness can mean, having been abandoned on a doorstep as a baby and raised by the woman who found her there. So, when suddenly faced with a soul in need at her door—or the alleyway by her tavern—Gillie doesn’t hesitate. But he’s no infant. He’s a grievously injured, distractingly handsome gentleman who doesn’t belong in Whitechapel, much less recuperating in Gillie’s bed . . .
Being left at the altar is humiliating; being rescued from thugs by a woman—albeit a brave and beautiful one—is the pièce de résistance to the Duke of Thornley’s extraordinarily bad day. After nursing him back from the brink, Gillie agrees to help him comb London’s darker corners for his wayward bride. But every moment together is edged with desire and has Thorne rethinking his choice of wife. Yet Gillie knows the aristocracy would never accept a duchess born in sin. Thorne, however, is determined to prove to her that no obstacle is insurmountable when a duke loves a woman.