Gareth Sandison is in love with his best friend's little sister, Beau. But as a second son, he knows the lady is out of his reach. Beau has other ideas. She wants Gareth for her own, and when he saves her from a kidnapping attempt, she grasps her opportunity to have him.
The two decide to wed in order to keep Beau's reputation intact --and it works for the most part. But swooping in on a friend's sister is a cardinal sin among gentlemen and the marriage leaves Gareth ostracized among his buddies. The love is there for our couple and so is some pretty rockin' sex... but they aren't without problems. In addition to Gareth losing his friends, they must also deal with a revenge plot against Beau and the appearance of Gareth's bastard nephew, who his brother refuses to claim.
The baby is where the book lost me. I kind of like the idea of our hero and heroine banding together to thumb their nose at society. They were a united force (who entertained me with steamy love scenes.) But Gareth's willingness to break Beau's heart to perpetrate his brother's lies completely alienated me. It was totally unnecessary. Even if he wanted to maintain the pretense to the outside world, lying to Beau was inexcusable. She handled it better than anyone could expect, but when the truth comes out and she apologizes for being a bad wife... she lost me too.
The first half of the book was pretty enjoyable... and I was satisfied by the time we got to the ending. But the baby plot device/ secret/ misunderstanding was a big fail. 3 1/2 stars. *ARC Provided by NetGalley