I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a sweet story using a common trope. The female lead is set on one male and another male (completely unsuitable, of course) is determined to land her. It's a tricky one, because the female lead often ends up looking mercenary and/or untrustworthy.
Daphne Hayward is determined to marry Edward because she's certain he'll be a solid, considerate husband. To that end she sneaks into what she thinks is his room one night during a house party and ruins herself with him. Well, not him, of course, but Ashton, the Duke of Claymore, an infamous rogue who believes she's one of his paramours since it's pitch dark and all. He's surprised because he's been with this particular lover before and she's never been so intoxicating.
First of all. Ew. Kind of unseemly to sneak into a guy's bed naked and seduce him out of a sound sleep. And that's where the heroine in this kind of trope comes off as mercenary. The ends justify the means. What if the guy doesn't actually want to marry her? He hasn't asked her no matter how many chances he's already had. What if he loves someone else?
BUT, Ashton is totally smitten. So it all works out. Daphne still wants Edward but over the course of a week or so she starts to see things differently and yada, yada, yada. We all know how these things go.
Ultimately it was a sweet story and a decent read, even though it was predictable. It was disappointingly short since the characters were worthy of more time together and more time growing individually. It felt a bit gutted, and I think more material might have alleviated the predictability, too.
Not a bad read, but nothing new. Solid three stars.