Set in 19th Century England, the marriage of Miles Warwick and Olivia Devonshire, was settled much without even consulting the bride, which was not uncommon of the times. Olivia's father desperately wanted to get rid of his scandalous daughter and her son, before his much spoiled daughter, Emily, married into a good family. Warwick just as desperately needed Olivia's money, so the match was made,what neither male really took into account was the strong mind and will of one Miss Olivia. She had run the household, and her younger sister, for many years, and was used to being in control and taking charge, and since her father had given her complete control over her money, Warwick had no choice but to concede to her, and now her father was left to run his own estate, but not well. Olivia had been in love with Warwick for most of her life, and had not taken into account what living with a man whom didn't return her love would do to her, nor how difficult her secrets would be to keep from the one man she must. A great story about the resilience of human nature, and the healing that love can deliver.
Miles Kemball is Damien's (Fire in the Heart) illegitimate brother. He's in dire financial straits, a situation which could be alleviated if he agrees to marry Olivia. He's never met the woman, but he's heard of her. She is said to sport a tattoo and worse, to be promiscuous. When he finally does meet her, he realizes Olivia is plain, wears glasses, and has a smart mouth, to boot. But no one else will marry him since he's a ..., so he has no choice. Just what he always gets--the bottom of the barrel.
Miles Kemball is a reprobate. However, in order to give her child a father, or at least his own home, Olivia will marry Miles. She knows he's only agreeing to it because of her dowry, but she has her own ace up her sleeve--she will keep control of the money.
You know this isn't going to go over well with Alpha-Male Miles. And so begins the tug of war between these two titans, during which they must also deal with Olivia's relatives, a comically mismanaged household, a starving copper mining community ...and more than one reminder of Miles' past.
Thisis one of my favorite books of all time.... the heroine is far from perfect but all the more perfect for his foibles. The heroine is daring and definitely your atypical Regency heroine....I laughed and cried.
I hated to put it down -- highly, highly recommended....
This author makes a clear point that older daughter, Olivia Devonshire, in spite of her ability to control money and increase the fortunes of her family, cannot shake her shocking reputation in 19th century England. Olivia is a never-married woman with a son.
Olivias father wants to get her out of the house because he is planning on his beautiful, spoiled, younger daughter (Emily) having an advantageous marriage. So Lord Devonshire calls for Miles Warwick, a penniless, illegitimate son.
When Miles gets the summons, he thinks Emily sent for him; they had an affair some years past. Perhaps Emily is ready to resume the affair? However, it is Lord Devonshire propositioning Miles to marry Olivia. Papa Devonshire thinks the marriage will silence the scandal surrounding Olivia so Emily can marry well.
Miles is destitute; hes at the point where he is breaking up exquisite furniture to use for heat in the fireplace. Neither man consults the bride-to-be about her thoughts on the marriage; this was not an unusual arrangement in England at that time. What is interesting is that Devonshire leaves her fortune in Olivias own hands; Miles will have to negotiate to get what he wants.
Although Olivia marries Miles (she has been in love with him for years), she does not consider how hard it will to marry someone who does not love her. She understands that Miles needs her money, but he does not want her.
The author uses most of the book to show how Miles and Olivia grow emotionally. Olivia learns that Miles is not a dissolute dandy; he has dreams and is willing to work for what he wants. Miles learns that Olivia is a devoted and caring person.
The beauty of this book is in showing that Miles and Olivia have both weak and strong attributes. By setting aside their differences and working together, they each grow stronger.
By the way, I learned mid-way through the book that this is part 2 in a series of 2.
A Fire in the Heart (1990)
My Only Love (1993)
One of my favorites, read it in a day. Great Story
He married her for money. they both discover passion.
One of my favorites by Katherine Sutcliffe. Good romance.