Ophelia has known nothing in her life but loss, denial and hardship. Until she is rescued by Calvin, the enigmatic Earl of Carlyle, and given a job as his land steward. Under an assumed identity and an assumed gender, she becomes an indispensable part of his inner circle. She assists him in the running of his financial empire by managing a network of informants and spies. She adroitly bests him in regular bouts of fencing. She becomes a trusted confidante and adeptly avoids pursuits and situations that would sabotage her masquerade.
But one of Ophelia’s guilty pleasures is staring at his profile – and thank goodness he’s oblivious to her scrutiny. When her life is threatened by a series of unfortunate accidents, her employer insists that she take up residence in his luxurious townhome.
Ophelia’s disguise is revealed when she has no choice. But the Earl’s treatment of her doesn’t change. Until he can’t stop thinking about her. Or staring at her profile. And wondering at his previous blindness.
They begin a clandestine affair that is all Ophelia has ever dreamt of. But she knows they only have this moment, and is determined to make a new beginning once she buries the demons in her past. It’s up to Calvin to use all of his powers of persuasion to convince her that the only new beginning she should choose is one by his side.
I loved this story so much! Ophelia’s fierce independence and Calvin’s equally fierce protective nature were the perfect halves to a whole. I loved the fact that Ophelia didn’t conform to the traditional view of beauty, but was irresistible to Colin because of her courage and spirit. I loved the fact that Colin was a cinnamon Teddy Graham- he acknowledges his shortcomings, is loyal to a fault, and is not afraid to give his heart to a woman who is both strong and broken.