Author: Callie Hutton
Series: Marriage Mart Mayhem #7
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pub Date: August 22, 2016
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Entangled Publishing
London, 1819. Four years ago, Darius, the Earl of Redgrave fled London two weeks before his wedding to Lady Mary’s sister and married another woman. Now a widower, he has returned to seek a new wife.
One woman catches his eye . . .
At first, Lady Mary doesn’t recognize the handsome lord as the cad who ran out on her sister. After giving him the cut direct in a London ballroom, she finds herself running into him everywhere she goes, and fighting a forbidden attraction. Not only has Mary sworn off men, Redgrave is so very wrong for her. But she cannot stop thinking of his kisses. Redgrave means to stay away from Mary but it is impossible. Passion between two people who can never be together is a dangerous game.
A totally delicious historical romance that lures you in right from the start. I love how our hero and heroine are at two different places at the start of this story. Redgrave and Lady Mary are two people who shouldn’t be together, but sometimes fate has other plans.
I like how the Darius, the Earl of Redgrave needs to have an heir. He is finally free to pursue a new wife from society if he wishes now that his time of morning for his deceased wife has passed. He is known as someone who people are somewhat weary of him because of what happened to him in the past and what he was forced to do. I really like how this opened up with hero in the book rather than the heroine.
There is some hesitation when he meets a certain young woman, our heroine Lady Mary socializing with two other young women. When they meet, things get interesting. He knows that he shouldn’t be flirting with her or even talking to her because of what he did to his sister Abagail a few years ago. He knows that things are going to get intense for him. So he decides to try to pursue other women that might want to be with him for life, but an encounter with someone who is bothering Mary in the garden, forces him to intervene. This of course leads Mary to thank him for her rescue.
Lady Mary and the Earl of Redgrave meet up at several parties and events during the season. He also is volunteering and donating his time to an orphanage that Lady Mary also happens to be volunteering at. So this leads them to spend a lot of time together in the book. Darius knows that he should not be spending time with her, but yet circumstances and the fact that they start to realize that things are not always what you want, but need.
There are a lot of things from the past that come up. Darius doesn’t have the best relationship with his former father in law who is supposedly running some kind of investment scheme with a diamond mine. This makes him wary and he wants to warn his fellow peers of this, but his former father-in law decides to pull some of his weight around. He makes a threat that has Darius in the bind. Of course he flashes back to what happened the night before he was supposed to marry Mary’s sister Abagail. We get to see the real tragedy of what happened.
Supposedly he was strong armed into marrying Lady Priscilla because she claimed to her father, that the Earl of Redgrave, Darius ruined her. He was supposed to marry Abagail. Priscilla was a real peace of work herself. Darius pleaded with both his father in law not to force him to do this. He did it because Priscilla’s father strong-armed him into abandoning Abagail at the altar. He always disliked how he handled the situation. We learn that Priscilla never told anybody who the baby’s father was. She also lost the baby and made sure that Darius knew it. Their relationship was difficult to say the least. We get a flashback of what their marriage. It was pure hell for both him and Priscilla who imagined a different life. Then she passed away.
As the book progresses, he runs into problems with his former father-in law who threatens to ruin his reputation if he says anything to anybody about the diamond mine. He is horrified that his former father in law would stoop to that level. He keeps his mouth shut for a while, but things get more intense as him and Mary’s friendship is developing into something more. We learn that they both need the other and are falling for one another. This is dangerous for both of them because of the past. Plus the fact that they start to connect on a deeper level makes them realize that this is a relationship worth pursuing.
Despite his past relationship with Lady Mary’s family, he finds a way to thwart his ex-father in law’s scheme to rob people thanks to Lady Mary’s brother’s help. Their argument was so good when Mary let her doubts almost ruin what they have, yet their scenes were so intense and good, especially the scene where they make love for the first time. This is a couple who doesn’t have the most easiest of roads, yet they manage to come out on top because of being honest and caring with one another. I really enjoyed this book a lot.