From the first page I instantly felt a connection with heroine Cecily Hurston. Cecily isn't some debutante that is only concerned with balls and gowns, she is clever and smart. She isn't afraid to speak her mind and I found that refreshing. When Cecily's father comes back from a trip from Egypt sick and not of a sound mind and is currently being blamed for the disappearance of Will Dalton, she knows the truth lies within her fathers journals from his trip. The only problem is that they are locked away inside the Egyptian Club and the only way she can gain entrance is by marrying one of its members. So Cecily formulates a plan to marry one of the members in order to gain admittance so she can clear her fathers name.
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson is doing everything in his power to try to find out just exactly what happened to his brother on his last expedition to Egypt. He knows that rumors are going around that Lord Hurston is responsible for his disappearance but he isn't exactly sure that that is the truth. He wants to question Lord Hurston when he stumbles across Cecily being denied entrance to the Egyptian Club. Lucas finds himself immediately attracted but knows that nothing can come from his attraction. Her father may be responsible for the disappearance of his brother and Lucas is definitely not looking for a wife. Though the two quickly spark up a deal that helps them both. Lucas will think of potential bachelors for Cecily to marry, while she helps him discover what happened to his brother.
When these two were together they seemed to only have eyes for one another and watching them both realize that their attraction was turning into more was great. There was one part when Lucas and Cecily were spying on the members of the Egyptian Club at a ball and Lucas is unconsciously rubbing Cecily's stomach while he holds her from behind that had me going crazy. It was the small things like that made me like Lucas so much more. His feelings for Cecily felt real and I loved watching him realize that she meant so much to him.
With Cecily her feelings for Lucas didn't come so easily for her. She is truly convinced that she isn't beautiful and because of a broken engagement from her past she is terrified to love again. Even though her feelings for Lucas are growing considerably, she is fighting tooth and nail to deny her love for him and she is constantly trying to keep Lucas at an arms length so her heart won't get broken. I loved watching her come to terms with both her feelings for Lucas, and the feelings he has for her.
I honestly loved these two as a couple and I found that even with the mystery going on throughout the book that their story still remained the main focus of the story. Seriously, these two sizzled. I loved the world that author Manda Collins has created and I truly look forward to reading more from her in the future. She has created a great cast of characters and I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest in future books.
**ARC copy provided by NetGalley**