In the two decades since a tragic “accident” took the lives of his parents, Oliver Sharpe, the Marquess of Stoneville, has survived the scandal surrounding that fateful night by living as an unrepentant rakehell. And with his grandmother vowing to disinherit him if he doesn’t settle down and wed, he plans to fulfill the bargain in true Sharpe style—by bringing home a fake fiancée from a brothel! But his scheme is derailed when he rescues an American beauty in a dire predicament instead.
Maria Butterfield came to London to track down her groom-to-be, who’s gone missing, but her engagement won’t stop Oliver from getting what he wants: her, in his bed. His rebellious masquerade may call his grandmother’s bluff, but it’s soon made all too real—by a love that tempts him to be a hellion no more.
I have been wanting to read this series for the longest time – probably a year or better – but I never got around to it due to my never ending pile of ‘to read’ books, but I thought today is the day, I am finally, FINALLY, going to read this series. I knew this series was gonna be good when Maria pulled a sword on Oliver and told him she was gonna peel him like an orange and he replied with ‘That’s the best you got?’. Oh, right then and there I knew I was gonna love these characters.
Maria was so refreshing and 100% herself. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind nor could you bully her into any unwanted situations. Freddy, he was about as clueless as they come and had a bottomless pit for a stomach when it came to pies. At times he didn’t seem bright, but that’s what makes him Freddy and quite enjoyable. Now for Oliver, he may appear to others as a rogue or rakehell, but he hides his pain behind frequenting brothels and imbibing alcohol. Even though almost 20 years has passed since his and his siblings parents death, he still blames himself for it and just cannot let it go. He doesn’t want to marry, to be stuck in a marriage of convenience where each spouse coming to despise each other, nor does he grasp the concept of ‘love’. Sure he loves his brothers, sisters, and grandmother, but he doesn’t believe he could be faithful and love just one woman as he feels that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I love how once Maria enters the picture, everything changes for Oliver. He wants Maria, but doesn’t want to do the whole marriage thing, but before you know it, he starts to form some sort of ‘feelings’ for her, becomes jealous quite easily when another man pays her attention, and then BAM, the love bug bites him in the ass. As he spends time alone in her presence, he realizes he cannot do without her, she shows him affection, believes that he is much more capable at being a better man and leading a better life other than a rakehell, she sees past his facade to the young man that is still grieving ovr the past. No one has ever made him feel like that and he grabs on to it like a drowning man, holding on for dear life to a life preserver. Hetty, the grandmother, begged Maria to not give up on him, that he is a good man, she just needs to dig deep down to find it and I am glad she did. Throughout the book, you can see small glimpses of his goodness peeking through and thanks to Maria and her good ever loving heart, she managed to make him a better man – not that I didn’t find him lacking to begin with – with her love.
Even though this was Oliver and Maria’s story, I somehow felt that Hetty Plumtree stole a bit of the show. She is a 71 year old fire cracker domino. I LOVED her and her sneaky, witty, conniving ways. She was such a mischievous little old lady, so much so, I wouldn’t mind having her for a gran.
As you finish reading this review, you can probably guess that I LOVED this book, which you’d be positively right. I loved it from the beginning to the very end, every Sharpe family member, and all the witty scenes and dialogues. I for one cannot wait to read the rest of the books in this series – and even the others of Sabrina’s – to see what’s in store for Jarret, Gabe, Minerva, and Celia.