Eight years ago, Lieutentant Luke Ripton made a hasty wartime marriage-in-name-only to protect a young girl from a forced union and left her protected in a remote mountain convent. Now, Luke is Lord Ripton, but he has been unable to obtain an annullment. Which leaves him no choice but to claim a wife he doesn't want.
For nearly a decade, Isabella has waited like a princess locked in a tower, dreaming of her handsome, dark-haired prince. Her dreams are shattered when Luke reveals himself not as a prince, but an autocratic soldier, expecting her unquestioning obedience, which is something Isabella's fiercely independent nature will not tolerate.
And while Luke and Isabella's fiery personalities clash at every turn, they remain bound to their vows, never expecting that the passionate fury they share could become passion of a different kind…
And here is Maria's review:
This was a lovely book, the storyline unique, and the journey to happily ever after exciting as first love.
Here are some things I especially loved:
The hero’s honor and gentleman-like manner, his devotion to his family, and his determination to always do the right thing. Despite the violence of war and the mistakes he made, he is a good man with a kind heart. He marries the teenaged Isabella to protect her and keep her safe. He is also kind to his mother and his sisters, determined to return and attend his youngest sister’s debut no matter what.
Isabella’s growth from frightened child to fiercely independent woman. I admired her fearlessness despite the tragedies of her past. Her upbringing and comportment as a lady of wealth and education was evident. I also loved Luke for admiring these strong qualities, especially in a time when women were expected to be demure and obedient.
This might sound like a silly little thing but I’ve noticed it in other historical romance novels I’ve read and I love it. The hero is always attracted to the heroine sans makeup! When Isabella greets Luke for the first time in eight years all dolled up by her well-meaning friends, he is turned off. Later, when she appears for dinner simply dressed and with a freshly washed face, he finds her stunning. This is so refreshing in this day and age when women wear too much makeup.
- The slowly growing passionate love, sexual attraction and tension, and respect between Luke & Isabella was endearing and poignant. I admired Isabella’s determination to make the marriage a happy one despite the fact that Luke felt this was never going to be a love match.