A sudden marriage...
The stranger is huge-dark and forbidding. But to honor a deathbed promise to her foster father, Kailey Hewett must marry Simon de Marchand, the king's sheriff, an intimidating mystery of a man. As they ride away from her home and all she holds dear, Kailey wonders how she can keep her pledge to give this stern man his "heart's ease"-but she vows to create a new family, no mater what it takes.
An unexpected love...
This marriage was supposed to be final reparation for his part in her father's long-ago death-nothing more. But as Kailey's generous heart causes her to gather a "family" of endearing misfits around them, Simon unexpectedly finds the walls of his own heart slowly crumbling. By his own harsh sense of justice, though, Simon can never allow himself to accept what he most wants, but believes he doesn't deserve-and the love Kailey offers so freely becomes as much torture as a pleasure. But as the small, lion-hearted woman whips the huge, stunningly resistant man into an acceptance of love, he finally learns that mercy is as important as justice-and love and forgiveness can heal all.
Reviewer: A reader
The five stars are given on the strength of the last few chapters alone, which is a rollercoster ride of emotions. This is truly a touching book about a man who, to flee from a horrifying guilt in his past, bury himself in honour and justice, becoming one of the King's most loyal and fair magistrate. It is also about a woman, whose past is intertwined with the man's, a woman who flees the loneliness of her life by taking in strays and making them her family.
Ms Needham did a wonderful job. I found myself smiling as loved blossomed between them, and sighed in pleasure as Simon, the hero, reluctantly but surely allowed himself to be part of Kailey's family.
Now, the wonderful last few chapters where all crashed down as secrets were revealed. This part was the most powerful, as both confronted the pains, horror, and betrayal from the demons of the past. And Kailey's forgiveness, so heartfelt, so painful, tore at my heart. And Simon's gradual acceptance of his guilt and Kailey's love really really made me cry. After reading this I had to take a deep breath and readjust my equilibrium. This is how powerful the impact of this book has on me. It left me drained, yet a feeling of well-being that could only come from a very good book lingered.