When Lady Astrid Derring receives an anonymous note that her runaway husband is in Scotland impersonated anther man and about to marry some other poor woman, she hightails it to Scotland to put a stop to things. Six years ago the Duke of Derring had been suspected of forgery and had promptly stolen all of his wife's jewelry and all of the family's assets and abandoned Astrid. On her way up to Scotland her carriage is stopped by highwayman who are only stopped when Griffin Shaw, a Texan on a mission, sees what is happening and promptly shoots all the villains. Unfortunately he is hurt during the encounter and since she feels responsible Astrid takes Griffin with her on her journey. She can't help but notice how attractive the man is and how he inspires feelings in her she has never known before. He is intrigued by this icy maiden who travels without her husband. When she leaves him to go confront her husband only a lucky escape saves her as someone she cannot see comes into his hotel and promptly strangles him.
Astrid runs away and Griffin makes it clear to her that she needs to get out of Scotland as soon as possible as she will be the first suspect, and he offers to accompany her. But they are waylaid by Highlanders who take Astrid hostage and she is convinced that Griffin will count his loses and leave her to her fate. When he comes back for her she knows it is because there is something between them. Griffin is horrified by the way Astrid insists on trying to control everything even when it just ends up getting them in trouble and he hates the cold and emotionless exterior she presents to the real world. He wants to break through it, make her laugh, make her scream his name in bed. He finds that with Astrid he can share things that other people would hate about him. When he discovers the truth about his heritage Astrid knows that she must, for once, throw thoughts about duty and honor away and take a chance on what she needs and hope that Griffin will want her too.
Astrid is incredibly cold, rather bull headed, and does not know when to keep her mouth shut. If pride is a sin that she is incredibly guilty, but it makes sense because that is how she was raised and that was the only thing she had left after her husband abandoned her. And I love that Griffin can see past all that and try to get to the person beneath it. It's almost like a role reversal as usually it's the hero who has a crusty exterior and a soft interior. Her pride can definitely get irritating though and sometimes I definitely wanted to smack her- there really is a line you know and when Griffin is trying to save your ass- there's your line. Sometimes I wanted her to be right and Griffin to be wrong though- maybe there could have been a nicer way to teach her that she isn't always right than having her always be wrong. I was also rather irritated that we didn't discover until over halfway through Griffin's true reason for coming to Scotland the reason for his somewhat crusty exterior- and it's rather dumb to be honest (he couldn't save a random woman he'd never met who walked around during the heat of battle.)
The sex between these to is fantastic and super hot, though as usual there is not enough of it, but Astrid's fear of losing her pride always makes her thrust a barrier between them afterwards. I really would have liked to see them really getting along together without all the stuff between them. Sometimes I became quite frustrated with the way that she was hot and then super cold and how for so much of the book she put duty ahead of herself. I absolutely loved the little twist where we discovered the truth about Griffin's past and, although rather out of left field, it was certainly fun and provided a great impetuous for Astrid to for once do something for herself. It was quite beautiful too when she made her decision. Bertram was an altogether unsavory character who luckily wasn't with this world long and I loved that the person who killed him was completely nonchalant about it and no one really care- no great hoohah over what had happened.
Rating: Well, I really liked Griffin and I liked the changes that Astrid underwent throughout the book but it was certainly not up to par with most of her other books. Pretty average.