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I am a huge fan of Stacy Reid's books, so I preface this review by saying that while it's not my favorite book, I would by no means say that this book review is representative of my opinion of her writing as a whole. Not every book is going to be stellar, and to me, this book was good but not her best. There was so much history between the hero and heroine, which was amazing and well written by Stacy. I was never at a loss as to how their friendship developed, or how they became the people they were once the book was "present day." Unfortunately, what ultimately detracted from the book was the yo-yo feeling I got with the romance - he wants her, he can't have her, he can't help himself, he pushes her away again. It became frustrating, to say the least.
Lord Richard Maitland, the Marquess of Westfall, has known Lady Evelyn since she was sixteen and he was twenty-four. Entranced by her beauty and her genuine personality, he knows that she is not for him. As years passed, he tried to move on, and life dealt him some cards that rocked his world and set him even farther away from Evie. With a forbidding scar across his cheek, a bastard daughter in his home, and a reputation to rival that of even the most dastardly of suitors, there is no way he can have Evie now. But she is old enough to know her own mind and is being pressured to marry, and Evie is set on finally being with the man she has loved for years. If only she can convince him that he is worthy and that she can handle the scandal that will inevitably follow.
In general, both characters were exciting to read about and kept me on the edge of my seat every time they had a conversation or came together in a heat of passion. As mentioned before, it was the fact that they never stayed together that was extremely disgruntling to me while reading. Evie grew up in high society, surrounded by beautiful gowns and lots of money, without a care for the outside world. She has been taught to always follow the rules, and that means that she sometimes neglects to see how those rules affect other people. Richard knows this. He seems to accept this. But in those moments where she hesitates, where her ingrained sense of what is accepted in society causes her to question how she responds to a situation, he sneers and shoves her away. As if he didn't already know this would be a huge transition for her! I admit - Evie got on my nerves at times with how she acted at times. But regardless, I understood and was hoping Richard would. It finally took a near-death experience for Richard to finally see the light, and by then, I was really irritated with him. I actually liked Evie a whole lot more after that, because she didn't put up with his crap as much. It was refreshing for her character.
I am, as always, eager to read Stacy Reid's next book! I enjoyed this one, though the first two in the series were the best. Hopefully the next book will be a better fit for me.
**I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**