Voluptuous heroine dresses garishly and insults others with a smile and innocent look to ward off men from wanting to marry her.
Her uncle wants her to marry the first man who shows interest if she is to stay in his home where his ward, her 19yo epileptic sister, resides. She has to continue her pretense for another year and a half until her sister becomes legally free from their uncle. For some reason, politically-ambitious Hero sees through her ruse & seems to understand her quandary.
But he is being pressured to humiliate heroine by the marquess whose political support he wants to keep.
He’s tempted by the political promise of it. Yet he also doesn’t want to hurt heroine, especially as he’s becoming more attracted to her and she with him.
He tells her his dilemma and they have to figure out what they both have to do. Will the choices they make sacrifice their future together?
This book was rich in its characterization and problem complexity. But it wasn't put together crisply. There seemed to be too many characters and too many intermingled relationships and dilemmas. They all seem to be fighting space with the main romance (there is also a secondary romance between heroine's sister and a barrister). As a result, the main romance, emotional feel, and sexual tension were mediocre. It's disappointing because I expected more, based on other Milan books like Unveiled and Proof of Seduction.
Heroine had more charisma and inner strength than Hero. Hero was more a beta Hero versus the alpha-dominant kind. He was ambitious and smart but unsure about many things, trying hard to please others, and lacked a commanding presence. He was a low-key man who wanted more for his family and to avenge those who mocked him in the past for his illegitimate status. He was under the political thumb of one of his schoolmates and he was torn between his dislike of him and his need to please him in order to climb the political ladder. Hero was in awe of heroine for her courage to be herself no matter the opposition. Heroine was more alpha than he was. She was smart, confident, resilient, and more psychologically mature than Hero. She didn’t need a man in her life but felt lucky that she was attracted to Hero & that it was mutual. She wasn’t a simpering or pining miss. She did miss Hero when they were apart but she made good use of her time and money in the meantime. I liked her but I didn’t care for Hero too much. Hero wasn’t a match for her but he did love her for herself and wasn’t bothered by her brilliance. I believe they’ll have a HEA(happily ever after).
I moderately recommend this book.