The book opens with a rather brutal prologue in America. Marcus, the Duke of Blackthorne is on a tour of America with his friend (who is the brother of his fiancee). They want to go on a buffalo hunt and is in a band or renegade Sioux's camp. He sees a young woman tied to a post and being whipped. Marcus is stunned and attempts to barter for the girl with his knife and his grandfather's gold watch. He rescues her and takes the girl to England. Marcus has been summoned back home and takes the girl with him. On the ship, he devoted himself to nursing the girl. Since Marcus is going to be married soon, he asks his friend, Seaton, to take care of the girl.
Two years later, Marcus's wife has died in childbirth along with the baby and his younger brother died in a carriage race leaving Marcus the guardian of his two nephews. The previous Duke has made a series of bad investments that ha almost bankrupted the estate. Marcus needs to marry a rich woman to make the estate solvent and has his solicitor search for a wealthy American bride.
The young woman that Marcus saved, Josie Wentworth, was dumped at one of his estates at the request of Marcus's fiancee. She knew she was dying and realizing that Marcus loved the young woman he had saved, wanted Marcus to have her after she died.
In the time that Josie has been at the crumbling estate, she has been a maid of all work at the mercy of the housekeeper and Marcus's nephews nanny. A Pinkerton agent visits Josie and tells her that she is an heiress. As Josie is getting ready to leave for America, she discovers that Marcus is now a widower and seeking an American heiress. She decides to marry Marcus so that she can rescue his nephews and take them to America with her.
There were so many points in this novel that I wanted to scream. I liked Josie and thought she was an amazingly strong woman. However, what made this book a 3 rather than the 5 it should have been was Marcus. He was obsessed with Josie from rescue to landing in London, then he just lets his friend take over. Marcus is off-handed when asked about his nephews. I would have rather seen Josie grab the boys and leave England with the Pinkerton agent and marry him!
I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.