Desperate to escape to America with her life and that of the infant in her arms- Jessa Winter marries a mortally wounded man, planning to flee England as his widow. She doesn't count on Noah McClellan's will to live.
FALSE PRETENSES...Desperate to escape to America with her life--and that of the infant in her arms--Jessa Winter quickly agrees to wed a mortally wounded man, planning to flee England as his widow. She doesn't count on Noah McClellan's will to live--or his determination to make her deliver on ALL of their marriage vows. But baby Gideon and her own hidden secrets must be protected--even as Noah's passionate demands tempt her to trust him with everything : the truth, her life, and her heart...LEAD TO TRUE PASSIONS...Noah has every intention of getting his due from the cunning female who's played him for a fool. As they sail for America, he is torn between outrage and growing tenderness for this beautiful woman he now calls wife. Jessa's recklessness nearly cost him his life--yet he cannot fight the burgeoning desire to tease and tempt her into sharing more than just his name.
When Jessa realized that her charge, a baby, was going to be killed, she plotted to save the baby by emigrating with him to America. In order for the guardians not to be suspicious, Jessa needed a dead baby to substitute for the living child. A friend conveniently lost her young son and so he was substituted. That seemed just too convenient.
The next convenience occurred when Jessa was in a carriage that was hijacked and robbed. A tall, unmarried American was on board and Jessa saved him by taking care of his gunshot wound. For a while, he looked as if he would die and Jessa convinced others to help her marry the American so if he died, she could get the money to travel to America. This makes Jessa look like a conniving and mercenary person. However, I saw her actions as the ones of someone who was willing to go to great lengths to save a small child.
Noah McClellan was underwhelmed when he found out that he was married to someone he'd barely spoken to before. His behavior on the ship to America was appalling.
Things were fairly dull in Virginia but picked up steam when the family moved to Richmond. Hilary was a great villain. Overall, however, the story was too long and I was surprised that Ross Booker was willing to settle for what he eventually chose as a way to get back at Jessa.