Summary: Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?
Review: A prim and proper stick in the mud marries handsome man and lived happily ever after?
I liked the premise of this book. I imagined the initial awkward interactions and how Martha would come to love Theo. I did not think how prim and proper Martha would be. I’ve read other books, The Devil’s Waltz, with prim and proper ladies who blossom with the right man to love them. Unfortunately, Martha continued to stay a stick in the mud throughout the whole book. Theo does get her to open up a bit, but very little. He believes he loves her, but I am not sure if he will ever get Martha to truly open up. I can only imagine how married life would be.
Why was she such a stick in the mud? Martha mentions a strict and proper governess, but how much the governess and how much is Martha’s natural inclinations. She was quite young. I know that she had no interest in marrying for love and married merely so she would not be a burden on her family. I do admire her wishing not to be a burden on her family, but she winds up unhappy in her marriage. I don’t think anyone would have minded if she tried to find a man to marry who was closer to age or more like her temperament.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical romance with prim and proper ladies being not so prim and proper.