Quite a matchup – a rogue and a southern belle. Well not exactly a belle but certainly a sassy southern girl with an agenda to marry up and finally get the respect she so desires. Clothes, fancy house and lots of money just couldn’t get Annabel Wheaton the respect she coveted for herself and her family. They were still seen as white trash so she was going to buy herself a titled husband Bernard and there were plenty on the market in England. Question is whether that would make her a lady in the eyes of polite society. Strange thing about polite society - almost an oxymoron – there is nothing polite about it.
Who better to give Annabel lessons about the rules then a rogue with a new title of Duke of Scarborough and when a half million dollars is dangled before his nose Christian Du Quesne accepted the assignment as teacher. Christian’s first impression of Annabel was this was a foolish woman with a foolish dream. But getting to know her meant realizing there were deeper reasons for this planned marriage. Funny thing is, witty and sharp Annabel thought she had protected herself and her assets very well. But Christian had to burst her bubble and fast – the wedding was only days away.
Suffice it to say circumstances changed rather rapidly and not without some collateral damage. Now the onus was on Christian to make amends to a very angry, still single Annabel. But a strange thing happened while Annabel and her family enjoyed the hospitality of Christian and his sister. Everything Christian had said to forewarn her of the foolhardiness of a quick marriage to Bernard was being proven true. But in the calm after the storm Annabel was recollecting things Christian had said in his attempts to show her that she deserved better than Bernard. And these comments went straight to her heart softening her opinion of the rake Christian, an image he worked rather diligently to foster.
Annabel’s dreams were to marry, gain respect, have children, and a home of her own. Christian’s goals were to remain single still guilty over his failure in his first ill-fated marriage. Their goals couldn’t have been farther apart. But in affairs of the heart goals can so often be dismissed as desire takes over. In the end we will see which is stronger love or lust or perhaps a mutual attraction leading them both down an unforeseen future together.
I was hooked by page sixty and totally smitten with both Annabel and Christian. That’s Guhrke’s style to have her characters grab your heart until the very last page. Equal amounts of angst and passion make this a really entertaining historical romance with a look see into a rather unflattering view of the English nobility. This is the third book in Guhrke’s Abandoned At The Altar series which has definitely made me a fan.
Annabel is about to marry the perfect man . . .
The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and leads only to heartache. That's why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He's got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won't ever break her heart. There's only one problem . . .
Christian isn't about to let her marry that pompous prig . . .
Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks the stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he's determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian's forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he's happy to accept.
Falling in love with Annabel was never supposed to be part of the bargain . . .