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This was a quick, sweet romance! The prologue was a bit horrifying, to see what the hero goes through, and it makes you wonder how he turns out so decent in spite of it all. It was a great emotional journey for all involved - hero, heroine, and reader.
Helena Banbury is the bastard daughter of the Duke of Wilkinson, working as the bookkeeper for her brother's notorious club. One night, she finds herself accosted, though harmlessly so, by Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, and when her brother finds out, he sends her away to live with her father for the Season. Lord Robert hasn't been able to get Helena off his mind, and when he sees her again at a ball, he is intrigued. Soon they begin a false courtship, but their feelings begin to form into genuine affection for each other. When Helena's past comes back to haunt her, she and Robert must battle her enemy, and Helena must choose between love and safety.
I loved both Helena and Robert. Robert, in particular, was surprising, given his history with his ex-fiancee. He was kind and generous towards Helena, and I enjoyed seeing his character grow beyond old hurt and find his true self again. Helena also grew quite a bit, though I hated to see how she allowed her brother to treat her. It seemed a bit out if character, considering how she responded to other characters throughout the book. Especially the "stepmother" - Lord, she gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "wicked stepmother." Cinderella's stepmother has nothing on the Duchess of Wilkinson.
As always, Christi Caldwell has written a book that captures my attention with every page. I am eager to read her next book, though I am a bit wary of reading a book with Helena's brother as the hero. I guess we will see when the time comes how much redemption can be done.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**