This is a wonderful story about two people too afraid to trust and who don't believe they can be loved. Mary is twenty-nine, conditioned by her late father to believe herself plain and unmarriageable; Jack is nine years older, a Marquess and rake who has been hurt in the past by a faithless woman, and who is now looking for a rich wife to save his estates from ruin.
They meet at a ball and quickly become friends: Mary offers to help him find a wife who will not bore him or lose her looks as she grows older. But friends grow closer... and then Jack discovers that Mary herself is very rich.
Candice Hern tells this story beautifully, little by little revealing the details of both characters' past and demonstrating why each finds it so hard to trust - and why, once trust appears to have been broken, it can be so hard to forgive.
There are some excellent supporting characters in this book, including Mary's companion Olivia, Jack's uncle Edward and Jack's mother. It's definitely a book to savour and read again and again.
I was really liking this story however unlikely it was. I liked both the H/H and their friends. Then, we got to the part that was going to mess everything up between the H/H. I knew it had to happen. Things were going too smoothly. It was just a matter of when, what, how, and why. We know the who. So I was almost to the happily every after and it happened. Then, it took much too long for all to be resolved. I think Ms. Hern was trying to convince the reader that the heroine was not acting out of character when she lost her head and the hero. The hero was taking too long playing the dunce and not figuring it all out
I'm torn on this one,liked that the author showed the couple with warts and all but was hoping the author would have had the male grovel more at the end. He seemed not redeemed or remorseful enough for my taste.