When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.
Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with....But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?
Where do I start...with my frustration at the times and society in those times and the power men when it came to the lives of the women? Or rather with my frustration that those two, our hero and our heroine could have spared themselves a lot of heartache and worries if they had ever talked about their past. I mean, really talked. Right?
Well, I might start with the gripping story and those very likable characters whose chemistry was just right - which added to my frustration when everything seemed to be too complicated and the troubles of the past felt like unsurmountable obstacles that wouldn't let them act on their feelings.
I loved to see how our hero and our heroine slowly start to open up and to trust eachother again, righting some wrongs from the past and finding happiness along the way.
Oh, and you just have to love Brilliana's aunt by marriage and her protectiveness towards Brilliana. She is a rather formidable character and I think that Niall is lucky to have her on his side. I really liked the other minor characters as well, flaws and eccentricity and all.
When circumstances force our heroine Brilliana, a young widow and her former love, Niall, the Earl of Mangrave, to work together, both of them don't exactly jump at the opportunity to renew their acquaintance. Past betrayals have left them wary, hurt and even furious but maybe this could turn into a chance for both of them to heal...
This is by far not the first book by the author that I've read and enjoyed and I'm looking forward to reading many more by her.