When Prue is set up to marry a sexy Scottish laird, her friend Amelia comes along to make the road easier. No one expects that Malcolm will truly fancy Amelia over the woman with whom he was expected to make a match. Even more confounding is the fact that Amelia returns his feelings. She would never betray her friend, but an unexpected kiss does just that. And before you know it, Amelia and Malcolm are married.
Malcolm never wanted a love match. He wanted a wife who would be politically advantageous, as he worked to champion Scotland in the House of Lords. But instead of a biddable and traditional woman, Amelia is fiery and passionate. He doesn't know it, but she is a published writer with a hidden identity, one that could destroy her reputation --and his-- if it ever comes to light.
The story follows Malcolm and Amelia as they try to balance their growing feelings for one another, with the futures they have always worked to cultivate for themselves. This, while Amelia waits in fear that her jilted friend Prue will reveal her deepest secret out of spite.
I liked Amelia and her passion. She refuses to wilt even under the constraints her new husband places on her. I felt like she really loved Malcolm and her only real mistake was keeping her secret from him. I can't be quite so charitable about Malcolm. His autocratic and domineering behavior in the second half of the book really made me mad. I think it was made worse by the fact we had already seen the kind of man he was capable of being, during the honeymoon phase of the relationship. The fact that he loved Amelia made it even more damaging when he cast those feelings aside for his "greater purpose." Obviously, he realizes the error of his ways, but by the time he does, I would have been just as happy to see Amelia kick him in the shins as accept his apology.
The sex is good, but served too often as a crutch in their relationship. I felt like Amelia let her passion for Malcolm override her self-respect a little. I do love how Sara Ramsey keeps working the word "manroot" into her books. And that she manages to create characters that keep me entertained and interested throughout the story. I've got my fingers crosses for an Alex and Prue pairing in book 3. Anyone with me?
3 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley