Katherine Scoville grew up in a very rural area of England. After her parents died, her uncle let her continue to live in her family home with her nanny. She never attended school or got to really know any of her neighbors but kept to herself in the house. When she turned 17, her uncle decided to take her to London for a season. As Katherine was distantly related to a baron, she was hoping to make an excellent match and in her mind she practiced how she would act and talk. Because the trip to London took more than one day, Katherine and her uncle needed to stop at an inn. Due to the inn being full, the inn keeper attempted to turn them away. Finally, he was talked into moving two customers into sharing a room, allowing Katherine to have a room to herself. Somehow though, someone forgot to tell the man who was moved!
Alexander Michael Craig Stanton, Earl of Shelton did expect to find a young girl in his bed. At first he thought she there to take care of his needs but her screaming took care of the idea. After most of the inn seeing him with this young lady in a compromising position, his only option was to marry her. He didn’t like it and when the girl’s “uncle” asks for money, Alex is positive that he was set up by a scheming whore. Leaving Katherine to find her own way to London or where she came from, Alex returns to London to attempt to get this marriage annulled. When this fails, divorce is his next option.
Katherine has no idea that Alex is trying to dissolve their marriage. All she knows is that Alex has promised that after he gets the paperwork for a divorce he’s promised to take her to plays, buy her pretty clothes and to her mind really start their marriage.
Things are “helped” along by Alex’s mother and his butler. Both are practioners of magic and have placed a bet on Alex and Katherine’s marriage. Alex’s mother is totally against this marriage while the butler contends that it is a love match. As they cast spells to improve the odds of their winning, they are hampered by the rule that no harm can come to Katherine or Alex.
This book drug me into Katherine’s world quickly and with interest. I felt for this young naïve girl that truly had no idea what was going on. Her dreams of marrying into the ton had come true but she has no idea why her husband is behaving so badly. Katherine’s character comes across as believable and loveable.
In fact, most of the characters come across as very believable, though not always loveable. They were well thought out and fairly well developed. I enjoyed watching their interactions and how each stayed within their character.
The storyline was good. It progressed at a good pace for most of the book.
Unfortunately, I felt cheated by later part of the book. The ending left me hanging as to the status of Katherine and Alex’s relationship. Would they have a marriage or not? Where does their relationship go? I also had some problems with Katherine’s obtaining her position at her former home. Still, the book was enjoyable.
I hope this book has a sequel so I can find out what does happen with Katherine and Alex! Their story was fascinating and I truly would like to see where it ended.
Twist legend into truth… Merlin's magic thrives in the Regency.
Katherine Scoville is compromised by -- and must marry -- the Earl of Shelton. Between his stubborn insistence that she tricked him and her naïve belief in happy ever after, the battle lines are set. She wants a conventional union. He desires Katherine as his mistress.
Meanwhile, two magicians secretly wager on the success of the marriage. As Katherine fights for respectability and Shelton campaigns for divorce, magic is wielded to meddle, one magician skewing truth and the other exposing lies.
When the smoke clears from the field, whose magic will prevail? Will Katherine accept Shelton's hand in love-strewn matrimony, or will Shelton offer only his body to his mistress?