Paul Templeton, the Marquess of Blytheland, has been burnt once by love and has vowed to never again put himself through such pain. His first wife, a bluestocking follower of Mary Wollstonecraft's free love philosophy, died in giving birth to another man's child and broke his heart. Unfortunately for him, Cupid's got other plans for him that include shockingly blunt, warm-hearted free spirit Cassandra Hathaway... Another bluestocking! While Blytheland tries, unsuccessfully, to fight his growing attraction to Cassandra, Cassandra tries, equally unsuccessfully, to keep everyone from getting the wrong idea about the two of them - why would a handsome, charming, wealthy Marquess marry *her* when he could aim so much higher? Can these two clueless lovers defeat their own worst enemies, themselves, and find love?
*** This is an adorable little regency with one of my favorite types of heroines; the clueless bluestocking idealist. Cassandra is so sweet and hilarious as she bumbles around insulting people left and right (usually people who really deserve it!)... all the while thinking she's complimenting them! In comparison Blytheland is a little boring, but he has some depth as a sensitive, passionate man hiding behind a cool facade. And she's just what he needs (even if he doesn't realize it!) It's a pleasure reading a romance where the conflict arises naturally from the characters of the hero and heroine themselves, without them acting childish or stupid - Blytheland really was hurt by his first marriage and Cassandra has every reason to keep from hoping he'll marry her, not only because their positions are so far apart but because he's so busy trying not to fall in love with *her*. My only problem was that I didn't really feel an emotional connection with the main characters for some reason, especially the hero, which is not good if emotional angst is the main source of conflict in a story. Still, overall it's a charmer with wonderful, three dimensional characters (including secondary characters) you really root for.
Conclusion: A fun charmer of a book with some real, character driven conflict and a hero and heroine you want to happily-ever-after, not slap for their stupidity.
This is the first book in a three-part series where Cupid/Eros shakes up the lives of some unwary mortals. I've read both this book and the sequel, Cupid's Darts, and they are both great! Lots of wit, humor and emotion. Can't wait for the third book in the series, Psyche's story, it should be great!