Elizabeth Kendel is terrified that her distant cousin Randolph will inherit her late father's dukedom and kick her out of the only house she has ever known. She also wants to stay in her house because she believes that the truth about her paternity can be found in a diary her mother hid somewhere around the house. On his deathbed, her father confessed that he was not her real father. She hopes that her cousin Edward shows up to claim his inheritence but it still surprised when Edward's son, William, shows up with seven of his siblings in tow. He makes it clear he only plans to be in London for a couple of months, enough time to sell of all of the non-entailed property and possessions. He wants nothing to do with the country he has learned to loath and believes a man should be judged on his merit and not a title he inherited at birth, and then wants to back to America so that he can marry Abigail Mason, a spoiled rich girl he wants to marry but has been unable to because her father disapproves.
The more time that Will spends with Elizabeth the more he comes to realize that his love for Abigail may be no more than an infatuation and that what he feels for Elizabeth is much stronger. She is great with his younger siblings, she takes charge of their upbringing and running the house, and she is imperative in helping ease his way into society. And when he discovers that his new position in the House of Lords may be perfect for helping him combat the inequalities in British society that he has so many problems with. But their cousin Caroline is determined that the dukedom will pass to one of her own children and she will stop at nothing to ensure that her dreams come true. When Abigail shows up for America Elizabeth is terrified that she could lose Will and after reading her mother's journals and learning who her father is, she worries that she could be become just like her mother. Will and Elizabeth must discover together that their love can overcome big secrets and big enemies.
I really liked Elizabeth and the way she goes about getting what she wants. She really was quite rational and worked very well with all of the methods at her disposal to make sure he stayed in England and it was great because it was part of the reason why they fell in love. I found that her obsession with trying to find out who her real father was done perfectly and it was understandable why she was so eager to find out his identity. It was also a great little mystery to the story that I loved the resolution to. It created some great drama between them as well. William was also amazing as it was impossible not to really agree with him on some of the issues he complained about as far as the British aristocracy went. And it was so much better because he was not blind and stuck in his ways about his beliefs because he was able to change and adapt to what was going on around him. Kelley also did an awesome job telling the story from both Elizabeth and Will's point of view and it really added some more oomph to the story.
Their interactions were spot on and really just illustrated what great romance is. They both acted like adults- no screaming fits (beyond the reasonable) just two people who were falling in love with each other. It was really so easy to see why these two were so perfect for each other and why they fell in love. There were a few conflicts between Elizabeth and Will throughout the story and I really liked that they were efficiently dealt with and resolved in a realistic manner that really left both them, and me satisfied. There was no big misunderstanding that dragged out and bogged down the book. The sex between them was also really hot as well as a little creative and it was a great addition to the relationship that was building between them. Caroline and Abigail were great villains as there motives were well explained and understandable, if not really sympathy inducing, and as always I liked reading about female villains. I definitely plan on reading future endeavors by Christie Kelley.
Rating: Absolutely loved this book. Two mature characters who had a great romance and a great story to back it up.