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Oct
18

 

 

  • 4 Lillies Reviews

It was just another scandalous night…

Gambling. Carousing. Flirting. Charlotte, Duchess of Rutherford, will do anything to create a scandal large enough to force her husband to finally petition for a divorce. Once madly in love with Philip, she is now determined to escape from their less than civil marriage and the reminders of his betrayal.

Until he stole her away…

Philip Burgess, Duke of Rutherford, is not a man to tolerate regrets. He wed Charlotte for revenge, not for love or convenience, knowing she would come to hate him. But he never expected he would one day find himself craving her attention or desiring her company….

And gave her something more…

Philip is no longer the cold, deceitful man she married years ago. And when he promises Charlotte a divorce if she will help him become a better husband for another woman, she wonders if she truly wants to lose him—and if Philip may still possess her heart after all…

One of the books on my Fall Into Reading 2010 challenge list. The book/blurb grabbed me when I saw it listed in the Penguin catalog months ago. Since the release date was close to the start of Callapidder’s Fall Into Reading 2010 challenge, I made sure to put it on my list. The premise intrigued me as one of my favorite themes in romance books is marriage-in-trouble.

I’m usually not a fan of flashbacks in books but this one needed it to set up the backstory for readers because of how it started. Heroine’s brother basically stole the hero’s fiancee and as revenge, the hero set out to make the heroine fall in love with him. Worked perfectly as the heroine really thought he loved her. It wasn’t until their wedding night that he told her the true reason he married her. He wanted to hurt her brother and she was the quickest way to do that.

Charlotte spends the next couple of years being as scandalous as possible with the hope that Philip will divorce her and release her from their marriage. Philip has others ideas. Now that she hates his guts, he’s actually fallen in love with her and makes a deal with her. Help him be a better husband (she’s told so he can marry someone else) and he’ll give her the divorce she wants. Not that he has plans to do that. He just wants her back in his house so he can work on getting her to forgive him so they can move on.

The flashbacks were essential in letting us see how they first got together and how quickly it went from love to hate. It explained Charlotte’s behavior and we got to see the hero’s POV as he went about winning her back.

I like that she didn’t make things easy for him and he had to do some work to get her back. I like that she didn’t just let him get away with what he did just because he was a Duke. On the other hand, I didn’t like that he took so long in coming for her. Nor did I like that most of the flashbacks were in his POV. This could have easily made it on my Keeper Shelf if the one scene I wanted was in her POV and not his. We were told how she reacted on their wedding night from his thoughts but we never “saw” it from Charlotte’s POV and I really think it would have been a very emotional scene had that been included.

For a debut book, this came close to almost being perfect for me and I look forward to seeing what else Ashley March has in store for us.

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