Josephine Carlisle is the adopted child of an aristocratic family. She is spirited beyond measure, and needed to be to keep up with her three older brothers. After being treated poorly because of her adopted status, she mistrusts the nature of potential suitors and had no interest in going to London for a debut. Jo seems to be quite a klutz, and spends much of her time volunteering at the orphanage she is from. She loves her family to pieces but has never really felt a completely accepted.
Thomas Matteson is a Marquess by title only, but he will one day inherit a dukedom from his father. He has lived a dangerous life as a spy for England. He becomes injured, and the trauma causes him extreme cases of anxiety. It completely turns his life upside down because he is no longer welcome in the service. When he is offered a recommendation if he can apprehend a highwayman causing trouble near a family friend's home, he jumps at the opportunity to prove himself.
Both Josephine and Thomas are surprised by the instant attraction they feel at a country dance. She becomes nervous for him to find out about all of her secrets, and he seems to be able to read her like a book. Thomas tries to remain focused on his career goals, but he cannot keep himself away from her.
I was disappointed in the romance. It was mostly physical and full of lust. I was getting really tired of the seeming endless sexual content. I wish there had been a little more time spent on conversation and learning about each other. I also realized that the story lacked a lot of personality in its supporting characters. I never knew how much a good book needs that.
I did think that Anna Harrington is a great writer. The words flowed smoothly and there was never a dull moment. Everything was described well but not overly done, so I really felt I could see it in my mind's eye. This was a first for me from her. It was a good story, and I'm interested to read her previous two books of the series.
**ARC provided by Publisher**