Lord Atherton is the last man on Earth Penelope Weston wants to marry, but when a scandal forces her to do just that, they’re surprised to discover they’re a perfect match, though not everyone is pleased with the union.
Benedict Lennox, Lord Atherton, has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with her, so Penelope is determined to quash any attraction she feels for him. He may be the heir to an earldom, but he’s also an arrogant cad. But when Penelope tries to help a friend and Benedict steps in to protect her from assault, he winds up compromising her, and wicked rumors rise up around them. Benedict compels her to marry him—he’d been looking for a mild, temperate heiress to marry in order to get out from under his abusive father’s control, but when fate puts the fiery, passionate Penelope in his path instead, he accepts the situation first with resignation, then with gratitude as he realizes she's his perfect wife. His father, however, neither approves of his marriage nor forgives his impudence at marrying without his blessing, and when the earl creates a dangerous situation that places Penelope in peril, Benedict realizes he must break free of his father’s influence once and for all if he is to create a future with the woman who makes him happy. Linden has written a satisfying romance with a touch of mystery that digs into the psyches of an abused boy grown into an honorable man and the delightfully passionate heroine who unwittingly saves him. The ending ties everything up a little too neatly, but we forgive that small weakness because we are so invested in Benedict and Penelope’s happily-ever-after.
A smart, poignant, deftly written romance with characters who remind us that good can triumph and love can heal.