Rating: 4 Cups
Charity Barlow is the pretty daughter of a brilliant but not business savvy academic. She has a good heart and a great deal of common sense, but has led a very sheltered life.
Robert, the Marquess of St. Malin is a cynical rake who is estranged from his family. He was fond of his late uncle and wishes to abide by his will.
When Charity’s father dies unexpectedly, she is left nearly destitute. She travels to the home of her godfather Lord St. Malin only to find that he has died and his will requires that she marry his heir. Robert is handsome, intelligent and charming, but she promised herself that she would marry for love and Robert is determined not to fall in love.
The characters in this story find themselves in an awkward situation. They must marry or Robert loses much of his inheritance, and Charity is left with no home, family, or income. Charity is a romantic and Robert far from that, but each is what the other needs despite their reluctance. Charity’s experiences with the Ton are amusing and intriguing. I admired her refusal to let her husband’s old lovers walk all over her. Robert was less admirable, but he soon sees the light, hopefully before it is too late. The subplot of Robert’s relationship with his mother and her second family is interesting and sheds light on Robert’s personality, making the reader a bit more forgiving.