Series: Wedded By Scandal #4
Published by Entangled: Scandalous on September 14, 2020
Genres: Historical, Romance
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When Hugh Winthrop, the future Earl of Albury, decides to advertise for a wife in the London paper, he never expected an anonymous response from a woman who matches him wit for wit. Their back-and-forth letters on the true nature of love, something they disagree on wholeheartedly, leave him shocked—and intrigued. But then the woman he’s been corresponding with shows up on his doorstep, enticingly beautiful and offering a marriage of convenience in exchange for his protection…
Lady Phoebe Maitland expected to marry for love and nothing else, until the man she gave her trust betrayed her. The more intrigued she becomes by the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Hugh, however, the more she realizes he’s holding back from opening his heart due to long-held secrets she struggles to understand. As passion flares wickedly between them, their marriage bed is quick to heat up. But when Phoebe’s past threatens to destroy the fragile bond they’ve formed, even a budding belief in love might not be enough to save them.
Phoebe could feel Hugh’s stare like a physical caress along her nape then down to her hip. I’ll yield to your persuasion… Or more like his ravishment. Only a few steps away from the door, she whirled around and ran toward him without checking her speed. His beautiful eyes widened, and before he could react or even guess her intention, Phoebe jumped, grabbing his shoulders to haul herself up so she could wrap her legs around his hips. She did not concentrate on this very scandalous and outrageous position—that her dress had been pushed to her knees and she was wrapped around her husband like a vine, her ankles hooked around his back—but releasing one of his shoulders, she lunged to pluck the note he had been trying to hide.
Yes! She turned her triumphant gaze to him and realized their mouths were mere inches apart and her husband had frozen. Clearly, he had not expected her actions, but Phoebe hadn’t thought it would have so shocked him that he’d turned into this marble effigy.
She could feel his heartbeat against her breasts, which she had pressed so firmly against his chest. A wave of heat overwhelmed Phoebe, and she was unexpectedly mortified and intensely aware that she could feel every imprint of her lord’s body against hers. Her fingers tightened reflexively on his shoulder, and his lashes closed briefly, as if he savoured the sting of her nails that penetrated through the layers of his jacket and shirt.
“I’ve been improper,” she whispered, painfully aware of how close his lips were.
Phoebe placed the note close to her cheek. “Please take it back.”
“I…no, you did not want me to, and I should not have acted with such wanton disregard for your privacy—”
He pressed a finger to her parted lips. Then he lifted those fingers and signed, “Phoebe?”
Painfully aware that she was still clasped intimately against him, she turned her head and lowered her gaze to the letter.
I like you.
I have started out wrong. I am happy that you are my wife. I listen to you sing to our daughter, and her chortles of joy make my heart hurt. I’ve never felt such an emotion before, but I’ve gathered it is a good thing, because I also want to smile whenever I see Franny and you together. Whenever you laugh, her legs kick, and her smile is comparable to the beauty of yours. How I wish she could hear my voice, even if once. How I wish I could sing for you…laugh with you.
I am giving this three generous stars, well 3 just because I did finish it. I have read a couple of Stacy’s books and they were fantastic. This one just seemed so rushed, so thrown together, and not finished. Where were her BETA readers? Where was her publisher? Did no one check this for her? Did no one care? Stacy is very talented, and I know this could have been so much more. The first part of the book was going so well, but then it just all went down hill. I did finish the book, so there’s that I guess. I did some skimming, it was a struggle to stay focused on it, and this just breaks my heart that I did. I won’t stop reading her stuff, but this one was a miss for me.