Tess's life has run the gamut from horrible to almost perfection, and she doesn't want anything to ruin the peace she has managed to find. When someone threatens the happiness of her step-daughter, she knows she will do anything, even give up her freedom, to protect those she loves.
Owen never wanted the life of an aristocrat. He perfectly enjoyed the dare devil life that he had. But he never does anything half-hearted, so gaining a title can be no less. He gave his whole allegiance to the British empire, which included helping the government track down insurrectionists. When Tess and Owen's paths cross, Tess see's her chance to protect not only her step-daughter, but her secret life as a political reformist also.
If I were to only think about the relationship between Tess and Owen, this book would have a whole different review. Their personalities were perfect for each other. Both strong-willed, intelligent and opinionated, but at the same time willing to listen and discuss. They didn't fall head over heels with each other with no rhyme or reason, but instead both were incredibly attracted to one another. Spending time together because of that attraction allowed them the time to fall completely in love.
The fact that I loved the characters and their relationship so much, makes this a really hard review to write. Desired is set using England's political reform as a backdrop. This in and of itself is not a bad thing. The way that the historical context was used as a mere prop to the storyline was annoying to me. In the beginning, Tess is a staunch supporter of the political reform group, and Owen is a part of the governmental group tasked with shutting down that same group. This provided the perfect opportunity for Tess and Owen to meet, and even more of a perfect opportunity for Tess to turn to Owen for help in her personal life. Once that relationship was established the political sub-story wasn't discussed or dealt with until almost the end of the book when there was conflict needed.
Teresa goes by Tess, but Owen calls her Teresa. But sometimes Owen would think of her as Tess, within the same narration that he had referred to her as Teresa. My brain had to stop every time and figure out who was being discussed. Maybe this is something that is only difficult for me, but I have to provide a slight caution to anyone else that has a problem with name changes.
In a purely character and relationship development way, this was a great book. There were just a few points that made it a hard read for me.