After the death of her grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace Thatcher wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. Her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing. As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage. Too late Grace regrets her rash actions when her father’s last choice, Mr. Samuel Preston, proves to be a gentleman and a friend. But Samuel is the sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, the man responsible for her “ruin.” Now instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.I love picking up a book and falling into the story right from the start. I knew early on that I was going to enjoy this one, and I did. Grace Thatcher finds herself in a tricky spot, her father is trying to marry her off to any wealthy man that he can find to cover his extensive gambling debts. Grace has no desire to marry and simply wants to take her siblings and hide away in the country. Her plans run amok when her carriage breaks down and she finds herself in the home of Lord Sutherland. Through a series of unfortunate events the two find themselves engaged.
I loved the evolution of their relationship, from hating one another to eventually caring rather deeply for each other. I though this had a strong start, I did feel at times it was a tad slow, but I enjoyed it. Grace was a likable heroine, she was kind and honest. I liked that she always attempted to make the right choice, even if it didn't always turn out the best. Nicholas was pretty broody and full of revenge when the book starts, but Grace brings out his softer side. They were a good couple and it was fun seeing them together. There was a bit of a love triangle, but was well done. I actually came to like Samuel Preston quite a bit.
Overall, a fun regency story and one I'd recommend!
Nominated for a 2014 Swoony Award.