One Night With You by Sophie Jordan
Jane Guthrie is a widow living with her husband's family who serves as protectors of the estate until her stepson becomes old enough to inherit. The family consists of two teenage girls she is supposed to basically serve as governess too and a lecherous man and a nasty lady and they all treat her as a servant. And she certainly doesn't have fond memories of her womanizing husband to keep her warm at night. Imagine her surprise to run into the former love of her life Seth Rutledge who had been her childhood friend. That all ended when he fell in love with her sister who promptly broke his heart in exchange for a better match. Jane manages to disguise her identity as Aurora and engages in a night of passion with him and promises herself it will be just one night of magic. Meanwhile Seth is wondering why he finds himself so attracted to two completely different women: the prim and proper Lady Guthrie and the smoldering Aurora.
The ruse is discovered when Jane goes to Seth to announce her pregnancy; a circumstance that unnecessarily infuriates him. Seth was in need of a wife anyway, preferably someone who respects and can get along with his blind sister, which Jane already does. Jane, Seth, his sister Julianne and his manservant Gregory all head up to his families house by the beach where tensions run high as Seth continues to ignore Jane while she, for reasons unknown given how he treats her, realizes she is in love with him. In a fun, and completely well done, side plot Julianne and Gregory discover their own feelings for each other. Jane is eventually forced to take drastic measures before Seth realizes his own feelings and the book is tidied up nicely in a 4- page epilogue.
Perhaps the best part about the book was that it had no side plot. No one was murdered, we never suspected anyone might be murdered, and no one was a spy! A miracle! Another plus in my opinion was the most unique "love" scene I have ever read in a romance novel and it might possibly serve as a spoiler. Before their marriage, Seth becomes angry with Jane and kisses her rather harshly, and she DOES NOT RESPOND! I have never read a romance where the female doesn't melt at even the slightest touch the hero bestows upon her. So a plus for something new and unexpected. And I'm a sucker for scenes where the heroine has to tell the reluctant hero that he's about to be a papa and this one did not disappoint. Roiling emotions, horrible accusations, shouting, and nearly as much angst as anyone could want. And the sex was hot. There were only a couple scenes, but what they lacked in number, they made up for in content.
The one thing about this book that irked me is very likely one only I could notice. I am a big fan of angst and this romance novel set itself up perfectly to provide an unprecedented amount of angst. He had been in love with her sister! There should have been more insecurity on her part about his feelings for her sister and lots of brooding on his part until he eventually came to realize that he ended up with the better sister. But I guess there's only so much angst that can be crammed into a book. I was also somewhat baffled by how horribly Seth treated Jane for most of their marriage until literally the last 5 pages.
The angst that did ensue, the very like-ability of the two characters, and the lack of boring subplot, except for the great extra romance, make this book a good, if not great read.