Poor Caroline really took one for the team when she married old Mr Broadhurst. She was only 15 years old and he was 40 years her senior. Basically, her father sold her off and Broadhurst has been helping the family with finances ever since. In exchange, Caroline has forced herself to submit to his attentions for the past 15 years. Twice a week, every week, he has come to her bed, but never did she take pleasure from it --and never has it resulted in pregnancy.
Now that her husband is 70 years-old, he has decided he wants an heir. And he has demanded that Caroline sleep with another man to give him a son. She doesn't want to. Sex is horrible enough with one man --why would she endure it with another? But he forces her hand, cuts her out of his will and threatens to turn over his mill to a man even more unscrupulous than himself.
Broadhurst invites a group of noble men to the home for Caroline to choose from, but Jack --the only man who has ever caught her eye-- works in the mill. As the book begins, he is badly injured and she takes him into the Broadhurst home to convalesce. It's no big jump to guess where the story goes from there.
It's all kind of predictable. Caroline is uptight and terrible at seduction. But Jack is pretty solid hero material. I always enjoy it when the male lead thinks the leading lady is out of his reach. It was gratifying to see him finally catch a break, but it was a long time in coming. He had to suffer through most of the book. So did Caroline, come to think of it.
It took too long to get to the good stuff... and the author didn't tread much new ground. But the romance was fairly good. Comfortable and kind of familiar. 3 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley