Sophie Barnes weaves together a delightful story where two worlds converge and two people must make life altering decisions. Mary Clemens and Caleb Crawford have as many similarities as they do differences and I loved watching them handle their very mutual, very visible, attraction. Through circumstances beyond their control they have both been forced to live lives that they had never planned. I loved the depth of emotion in this story, I’m not ashamed to admit I cried at a few of the cruel twists of fate but my true romantic nature couldn’t help but long for this couple to overcome their obstacles. I admired Caleb’s determination and his steadfastness even when faced with surprise and opposition and I have no idea how Mary could have so much willpower against all he had to offer. I loved the well developed characters in this story and I cannot wait to see them get their very own adventures. I enjoyed the mixture of modern ideas and freedoms alongside the restraints and strictures of societal positions showcased with these characters; I loved how it brought out the best in some while showcasing the worst in others. If you enjoy your historical romances with a touch of modern gumption, you will definitely enjoy this one.
The Story: Mary Clemens has had enough of the ton with their unfair rules and regulations. She’s given up high society and is content living in the country taking care of those who need her. Caleb Crawford was never raised to be a duke, he’s much more content working with his hands. When he pretends to be a labourer to get away from his new life he never expected to fall in love with a woman who despises nobility. When Caleb discovers Mary has even more reason to mistrust him he despairs of ever winning her heart.
He’s everything she’s trying to avoid…But somehow precisely what she needs…
Caleb Crawford doesn’t want to be a duke. He’d much rather build houses for a living. So when fate disrupts his peaceful life and burdens him with the responsibilities of a newly inherited title, he does what any sensible man would do by fleeing London, disguising himself as a laborer, and seeking refuge with three young spinsters who need his help with a leaky roof.
Ruined by a marquess who promised her the world, Mary Clemens has sworn to avoid marriage forever. Instead, she intends to live out her days with her friends and the orphaned children they’ve taken into their care. But when Mr. Crawford comes knocking, Mary finds herself in real danger of risking heartbreak all over again. Especially when she discovers that he’s not at all what he seems.