Lucian, the newly minted Duke of Penning, has much to prove— to himself, his family and the ton. Craving spotless respectability, he must find an aristocratic wife. Unfortunately, he can’t keep his eyes—and thoughts—off his deliciously distracting housekeeper. Such a dalliance can only mar the facade he's constructed to protect his sisters' future from the demons of his past...but this fiery passion is a temptation he cannot resist. While Susanna may not the bride he needs, she is everything he desires.
A woman with a past.
As the housekeeper to one of the grandest estates in England, Susanna Lockhart has worked determinedly to become all that is proper and efficient, and she never steps over the line. Romance is an indulgence for the upper class, not for her—and most especially not with her employer. But every smoldering glance from the surly, handsome duke calls to the long-buried reckless wanton inside Susanna. A love between them can never be, but will Lucian and Susanna risk being together…
Even if it starts a scandal...
I took one look at that cover and couldn't wait to dive into this book. Steamy romance up against the wall with our housekeeper heroine taking charge? Yes, please! Unfortunately, what the cover promised the story didn't deliver. The scene on the cover did not make it into the book and though there was a bit of steam (one love scene near the end of the book), the overall heat level was quite low for a Sophie Jordan book. That's actually something I don't mind if I know to expect it going in but, in this case, my expectations were quite different.
Does this mean I didn't like the book? No, it's an enjoyable story, one worthy of four stars but I was hoping for more complexity. More character development. More connection. More emotional depth. Especially with the hero. Maybe I was just in the mood for some meaty angst. Others may feel differently but I wanted these two to yearn for one another...and I wanted to feel it. I didn't.
Sophie Jordan is one of my auto-buy authors. I love her books but this one fell a bit short for me, one of those "I liked it but I really wanted to love it" books. Still, if you enjoy mild angst, low steam (except for that one scene), and cross-class historical romance, it may be the perfect fit for you.