by Meredith Duran
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
IN GRITTY, WORKING-CLASS LONDON, SHE DOES WHAT SHE MUST TO SURVIVE...
When Nell Whitby breaks into an earl's house on a midnight quest for revenge, she finds her pistol pointed at the wrong man—one handsome as sin and naked as the day he was born. Pity he's a lunatic. He thinks her a missing heiress, but more to the point, he'll help her escape the slums and right a grave injustice. Not a bad bargain. All she has to do is marry him.
A NOTORIOUS LADIES' MAN COULD TAKE HER FROM POVERTY TO OPULENCE... BUT AT WHAT PRICE?
A rake of the first order, Simon St. Maur spent his restless youth burning every bridge he crossed. When he inherits an earldom without a single penny attached to it, he sees a chance to start over—provided he can find an heiress to fund his efforts. But his wicked reputation means courtship will be difficult—until fate sends him the most notorious missing heiress in history. All he needs now is to make her into a lady and keep himself from making the only mistake that could ruin everything: falling in love....
At first this book seemed like it was just another rags to riches tale with very little romance. But once the hero and heroine started to fall in love, this story flew off the charts! The romance was so intense, and there were so many obstacles for this couple to overcome, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.
I really liked Simon, he was more complex than some heroes are in historical romances. He wasn't a stereotype at all, and he didn't always make the most flawless decisions. All of this made his character much more believable.
Nell's gutter-snipe slang was a little over the top at first. And I felt like her "street urchin becomes heiress" tale was taking over the story instead of letting the romance have center stage. But towards the end, I had to cut her some slack because her future was in a really precarious position.
I love the almost melodramatic tone of the romance. Their all-consuming love is over the top but it works so well in Duran's writing style, I couldn't get enough.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Bottom Line: This is an intense, brooding story of true love winning out in spite of money or class differences.