Marguerite Kaye is a new author to me, but although the pace was often too slow for my taste and there were some major plot holes, I found myself enjoying this book because Henrietta and Rafe were so darned cute together!
Henrietta is having an odd day. Waking up in a handsome stranger's bed could be on the plus side, but waking up in a rakish earl's bed with a mild concussion - definitely a negative. Finally remembering why you were in a ditch - plus. Having the authorities called to arrest you because your employer accused you of theft - negative. Running away - negative. Discovering that your getaway vehicle is being driven by the handsome Earl who saved you and now feels compelled to help save your good name - well that could go in either category. It all depends on how much will power you have to keep him out of your bed...
As I said, this is my first Kaye book and, like our heroine, I find myself of two minds. On one hand, Rafe and Henrietta are great characters. Rafe is a "rake" who doesn't like to be called one to his face. He's spent years building up a name for himself as a cold-hearted womanizer, but to Henrietta he seems kind, honorable, and generous. As she learns more about his past she realizes that his cold outer shell is a way to protect his overly kind and guilt-filled heart.
Henrietta is who really keeps this book going. She's had an unusual upbringing with a bitter mother and philanthropist father. She's not capable of lying. And that's what draws Rafe to her. He's been lied to, and has a real problem with trust due to the tragic ending of his first marriage.
The major problem I had with the book was the pacing. It was really slow in places and I had some BIG problems with plot holes and time line inconsistencies. Not once was the misalliance of a governess and a peer of the realm marrying brought up, and this should have been a major issue. Then there was also the missing diamonds plot that is all too easily cleared up and felt disjointed from the end of the book...which may have been why the pacing was so off at times. All that being said though, I enjoyed Rafe and Henrietta as a couple and look forward to more from this author.
Bottom Line A bit slow and riddled with plot holes, but a warm and tender romance that I enjoyed finishing.