The hero and heroine are beautifully drawn, as are the incidental characters; the heroine's aunt, her father, the hero's mother and his close male friends. This is a marriage of convenience plot, and the couple's efforts to understand each other and the misunderstandings between them are very well done. Barbara Cribbage is honest, forthright and intelligent. The Earl of Chatworth is arrogant and powerful, yet his concern for his mother shows his vulnerable side. I highly recommend this book as well as any of Ms Buck's work. She does the arrogant, disdainful aristocrat to perfection, but the way her lady's finally appeal to their lord's better instincts is usually subtle and a surprise.
From Inside Cover: Barbara's heart sank as the Earl of Chatworth shut the carriage door firmly, and settled himself beside her. Bow for the first time she realized the full import of being this man's bride. True, he had agreed that this was to be a marriage in name only. But as his eyes slowly traversed her face and figure, she wondered if she had made herself totally clear on this point, and also if this notorious rake could be trusted to tame his well-known desires. Soon she would find out. Find out what he would do on this their marriage night. And even more troubling, how she would respond.....
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the chemistry between hero/heroine was good.
Barbara's evil father was hard to believe at times, but his behavior causes Marcus and Barbara to become allies first and then this progresses to love. A very good read!