First of all, call me shallow but that cover has something that would definitely beckon me to pick it up from the shelf and at least see what the story is about.
At the beginning, Alex had no idea what Claire looked or what she was like because they had only met briefly and that had been a few years prior. Nonetheless, he proposed and was immediately drawn to her fragile and sweet demeanor. They both understood their union was out of necessity and agreed that just like many other marriages of the time, theirs could be based only on affection if not everlasting love.
And affection was given, in fact, affection was given too much too soon in my opinion. Supposedly, Alex’s motives were based on a wrong made to his family. However just days after they met again he was already thinking of protecting her, and not only because of his personal motives or out of honor but rather because of the feelings she stirred in him ~ really? That quickly? After that there were all kinds of romantic moments that obviously cemented the romantic aspect of the story still I wish their love would have been fleshed a bit more.
Also, Alex’s behavior was confusing in general. He was supposed to be a man of honor and yet he was manipulative, jealous, and revengeful, oh, and add to that a bad friend. In the end, he finds a way to find redemption for all his wrong-doings but man, did he take his sweet time to get there.
As for the story itself, there were a few plot holes that I’m sure will be filled in the next book in the series but I thought they should have been explained here. I also think the two different arcs (Claire’s bad luck and Alex’s revenge) overlapped each other in a way that it got distracting at times. Not to mention that I feel there was a lot of telling when there could have been more showing, especially at the beginning of the book. And one thing that bothered me to no end was that one of the characters was being referred to as Lord Paul by his so-called long-time friends when his full name was Lord Paul Barstowe, second son of a duke. Ok, I shamelessly admit it, I’m a nitpicker, and for that reason I cringed every time they called him that. I know! I’m a petty and I know it :/
In short, I did enjoy the book but I didn’t love it. It had its good moments, particularly when it came to Claire’s life and complex characters. If a reader is not as demanding as me when it comes to their romantic stories and plot lines I’m sure they will be able to enjoy it even more.
*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***