Lord James Rushford is the only man in London who can lead Rowena Woolcott to the villain who has been tormenting her family for years, and she will stop at nothing to enlist his help. Even if she must pretend to play a dangerously enticing role: his mistress. Rushford has demons of his own – a dark past that haunts his memories. Yet the temptation that Rowena presents is more than he can resist. Claiming to be lovers should not be so easy – or so appealing. But as Rushford ushers Rowena through London’s most elite clubs and sinister underworlds, truth and fantasy blur. And as the threat to Rowena grows near, the masquerade of passion begins to feel startlingly real…
Review: Rowena is in hiding after an attempt to murder her failed a year ago. She seeks out Lord James Rushford to ask for his help in finding the people trying to harm her and her family. He has been written about in the papers because he was instrumental in the solving of another crime recently and she is positive he is the only one that can help her. He initially refuses to help her. She doesn’t realize he has some very personal reasons for not wanting to be involved with her. One of them being he doesn’t want to be responsible for pulling her into a dangerous world where he may not be able to protect her. That is what happened to the woman he loved and he couldn’t save her. He eventually comes to an agreement with Rowena. If he is going to help her end the threat to her family she must pose as his mistress. This is necessary for them to be able to attend the social functions needed to travel in the circles of the people they need to speak with. Their attraction to each other becomes too difficult to ignore and what started as a ruse becomes real. And they still have to solve the mystery of whoever is trying to kill her.
The characters interacted very naturally. There were quite a few stories intertwined and I found I enjoyed the twists. I am always pleased when I read a story that pulls me in on various levels and this one did just that. I will definitely be keeping my eye on Caroline Richards. I didn’t realize until I finished the book that it is the 2nd book in a series. I will definitely be reading the other two books so that I can get the full story. James Rushford was not a typical alpha male he is dealing with the guilt of being responsible for the death of the woman he loved. Rowena realizes she has to protect her family but she doesn’t really have the life experience to handle all of the issues she must deal with. Together they struggle to find a way to insure the safety of the Woolcott family and also deal with the strong feelings they have for each other.
Favorite Quote: “You have a choice,” he said finally, rising from the bed. “Either you depart now, front door or rear window, I couldn’t care less, or the breeches come off. And what happens subsequently” –he paused just long enough to see the darkening of her spectacular eyes- “should not come as a surprise to a woman as intelligent as you appear to be.