For almost two years, Dominic Blackmer has posed at Mr. Kincraig, the heir to the Earl of Wolverton because of a threat to Wolverton and his family. Now that the threat is over, Dominic is able to resume his career as a spy and has gotten the assignment he has waited for in Europe. Clarissa Bevington is the granddaughter of the Earl of Wolverton. She is set to have her debutante ball and after her beloved Lord Quinn will approach her grandfather for her hand in marriage. But, at her ball, Quinn in absent and Clarissa discovers that he just got married that afternoon. She faints and Dominic is the one that rescues her and consoles her. When she Clarissa confesses to Dominic that she is pregnant, her mother and grandfather overhear and assume Dominic is the father. That leads to a forced marriage between Dominic and Clarissa. Of course, Clarissa tells her grandfather the truth, but he knows who Dominic really is and knows that this will be the best marriage for her.
I thought the opening of the novel was quite unique. Actually, I was glad that Clarissa had to marry Dominic because Lord Quinn was just a nasty man. Dominic was quite a mystery man. Clarissa had to peel back the layers to discover the wonderful man that he was and to fall in love with him. Dominic seems to be tortured by the memory of his first wife Tryphena and what happened. Even after her death, she is still causing problems and this adds a layer of mystery to the novel. There was quite a bit of humor in some of the situations Dominic and Clarissa find themselves in.
Clarissa matured as the novel progressed and it was brilliantly done. She was sheltered and trusting of a scoundrel in the beginning and as the novel progressed, she gained strength and maturity in her character.
This is the third in a series and while they are linked, it is a great stand alone. I give it five out of five stars.
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.