Nick Gentry, the most seductive and dangerous man in England, has been sent to find Charlotte Howard, a runaway bride who has disappeared without a trace. But when he finds her, Nick is stunned by the intensity of his attraction to the elusive young woman whose adventurous spirit matches his own.
Determined to escape a forced marriage to a man who will destroy her, Charlotte agrees to an audacious bargain . . . she will become Nick Gentry's bride. But soon she discovers that Nick has secrets of his own, and it will take all her wits and stubborn will to tame his tormented soul.
In the desperate quest to protect Charlotte from the diabolical aristocrat who threatens her, one thing becomes clear:
To save the woman he loves, Nick will take any risk . . . and pay any price.
Nick Gentry, now a successful member of the Bow Street Runners, has led a multi faceted life: originally highborn, his life took an absolutely bad turn into crime after his parents' sudden deaths, which results in his almost being sent to the gallows. But his sister Sophia still believes... Nick Gentry, now a successful member of the Bow Street Runners, has led a multi faceted life: originally highborn, his life took an absolutely bad turn into crime after his parents' sudden deaths, which results in his almost being sent to the gallows. But his sister Sophia still believes in him and can engage her husband, a high ranking member of Bow Street, to offer Nick a new chance in life. Knowing all the dark parts of London through his own criminal carrier, he now can use his insight to operate from the other side of the law and bring criminals to justice. A job he fulfills mercilessly, sometimes even taking on private commissions as well. Right now he is hired by Lord Radnor to find his run away bride, Charlotte Howard, a job Nick starts to pursue without any emotions on his side, as ususal........until he gets to know the lady. Charlotte is not a pampered and spoilt society lady but a desperate young girl who has to fear for her life as Radnor's wife....and hard hearted, mercenary Nick for the first time feels a little compassion and a strange attraction. Having gone without a woman for quite some time he comes up with a strange offer: He will not take her back to Lord Radnor if she marries Nick instead. Although Charlotte knows some facts about his black past, she agrees. No husband can be as bad as the mad Radnor. But can such a strange marriage between two strangers after so short a time really work out or is it destined to end in desaster? Starting with an unusual, but intriguing prologue Kleypas sets in motion one of the most enjoyable love stories I have ever read. Nick really is not the knight in shining armour, on the contrary, he seems scrupulous, dangerous, even forceful and brutal at times, with absolutely no feelings for others, driven and haunted by cruel and degrading experiences in his past, that leave no space for emotions or even love. The only thing he really is well trained in are the sensual arts (which he can prove to his wife quite diligently!). As his counterpart Kleypas creates the innocent, but not timid Charlotte, who is self assured in her feelings and can ably detect deeper running feelings in others and act accordingly. Reading about their slow way to acceptance, understanding, proximity, and finally love is simply delightful from first page to last. ....And of course there are villains enough to add some suspense to the story as well. Absolutely recommendable!