At eleven years of age, Rosalind Ainsworth was convinced
that Sebastian Lumley, the future Duke of Kelbrook, was the most odious young
man she’d ever met. And ten years later, after having had no contact with the
nobleman in the intervening time, her opinion of him has not changed.
Unfortunately, neither has the marriage contract their fathers signed soon
after her birth.
As Rosalind’s twenty-first birthday and the appointed
wedding day approaches, Sebastian makes a rare appearance in London. His first
meeting with Rosalind since childhood goes less than perfectly, but Sebastian
has a compelling reason for honoring their marriage contract―a reason outlined
in a document kept behind his workshop’s locked door.
After a quick wedding, the new couple relocates to Finley
Park, where their acquaintanceship slowly blossoms into affection. But when
Sebastian’s secretive work threatens their fledgling relationship and
Rosalind’s life is placed in jeopardy, Sebastian finds himself forced to choose
between the man he has pledged to help and the woman he has come to love.
This was a sweet, arranged marriage of convenience story (my favorite trope) between a young couple who were betrothed by their fathers since they were young children. When Rosalind becomes twenty-one, that is when her marriage is said to take place. She is to marry Sebastian, a future duke, but she barely knows him. Her previous encounter was when she was a young girl and he, being a young boy, naturally would not let her in his treehouse. This set off an instant distaste for him in her young mind that only grew to more loathing as her twenty-first birthday approaches. Especially as she has not had one word from him for years. She felt abandoned.
Now her father and his parents have passed on and she has requested to be let out of this arrangement. Sebastion had tried to give her her request, but there was no way out. They were to be married anyway.
What plays out is a young couple, hardly knowing each other, but trying their very best to manage this new marriage. Through some ups and downs, we see both mature and their marriage solidify to what they both need. I liked going on this journey with them and seeing that they did not abandon one another but continued to cherish this marriage, treating it with the respect it deserved, and maybe just finding out how right their fathers had been about their future happiness.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher Covenant through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.