Having enjoyed another Deborah Hale book, Lady Lyte's Little Secret, this book came as rather a disappointment. The writing wasn't as lovely, the story not as tight.
The two characters meet and he asks her to be his fiance within the first few pages. No getting to know you stage in this book. While there was immediate attraction, the love story built slowly, which is good, because stories where their sexual attraction = love are never very convincing. However Hale drags things on too long and suddenly switches from a beauty and the beast story to a Cyrano de Bergerac knockoff. It seemed an unnecessary addition to an already difficult situation, like she just added it to make the book longer.
Much as I generally enjoy scarred hero stories, this one just didn't work for me. I didn't think we dug deeply enough into either of the characters to be very emotionally attached to them or their situations. Both carry wounds - both of her parents are dead, she's been living with relatives who treat her with little care, he's physically scarred from Waterloo and also lost both parents at a young age. There should be a lot more emotional depth in this book.
As with the other Deborah Hale book I read, this book has little in the way of sensuality, and that which there is can be described as fairly abbreviated.
Abandoning her childhood dreams of marriage, Angela Lacewood is resigned to life as a poor spinster when she receives an unusual proposal from Lord Lucius Daventry. To please his dying grandfather, Lucius wants Angela to pretend to be his fiancee, and in return he will help Angela's brother purchase a commission in the military. Angela would do anything for Lucius' grandfather, who happens to be one of her dear friends, but she has her qualms about becoming involved with Lucius, whose wicked reputation as "Lord Lucifer" is the subject of much local gossip. Giving into Lucius' request, Angela soon finds that the disfigured war veteran has his reasons for haunting the night, but even more disturbing is the fact that she is falling in love with the reclusive nobleman. A sunny heroine with a penchant for sweets and a brooding hero with a love of the stars find their own happily-ever-after ending in Hale's latest gracefully written historical, which features both sweet charm and delicate wit.
Handsome Rakehell turned scarred recluse Lord Daventry returnes from battle intent on forgetting the past. Yet once home he was presented with one final mission, marry Angela Lacewood and grant his ailing grandfathers dying wish or at least pretent to marry. But the young beauty he remembers was now an exqistive woman. A woman strong enough to breach the walls he his behind and steal his heart