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....