Merrick MacLachlan and Lady Madeleine were young, in love, and daring so they made a quick dash to Gretna Green to elope. It was magical and exciting and they both looked forward to what their new live would bring. The marriage ended in heartbreak when Madeleine's father showed up to take her home and filled both of their heads with lies. He told Madeleine that Merrick had only married her for the money and had agreed to an annulment using a forged document as proof, while he told Merrick that Madeleine had changed her mind and wanted to leave him and was corroborated by her made. His goons beat Merrick up and left him for dead and he brought Madeleine back home where he quickly married her off to Lord Bessett after learning that she was pregnant. When Bessett dies Madeleine moves to London with her son, Geoffrey, who has always been a troubled child, and happens to move in to one of Merrick's houses.
Merrick has become bitter and closed himself off from the world and when he learns that Maddie has moved into one of his houses he is conflicted on how to behave towards his wayward wife. He and Maddie butt heads immediately but the more time the spend together the more the remember all the reasons they had fallen in love in the first place. They also both are forced to realize that the reasons behind their inauspicious breakup were false and neither had truly given up on the other. When Merrick discovers that Geoffrey is his son he decides that the only way to handle the situation is to blackmail Madeleine into letting him spend time with the boy. Things are even more complicated as Geoffrey has "the gift" of sight and Merrick thinks the best way to help him is to bring him to his grandmother who has knowledge of such things. On the trip to Scotland Merrick and Madeleine are reminded of happier times and contemplate leaving the past behind and forging a better future together.
While I acknowledge that reading the three books in the series would have been a little repetitive, I took a break before reading this and I am very glad I did. We got glimpses of Merrick in the previous two books and were let a little in on his secret past. Merrick and Madeleine's past was very well done and we got some very nice glimpses into it and with the book jumping between both of the POV's we are well aware of what they are thinking throughout the book. I really liked reading about how their feelings for each other changed as their previous assumptions began to disintegrate. It was just remarkably well done. In addition their interactions were perfect, from disbelief, to arguing, to discussions about their son. There was some very well written sex between the two, the hot and fast variety and the more emotional love making that came after they had become reacquainted with their old feelings for the other.
Throughout the book we get some brief glimpses of how happy the previous couples from the other books in the series are; nothing too overwhelming and it didn't detract from the focus on Merrick and Madeleine at all. Geoffrey was not the most realistic 12 year old boy as he actually talked to people (!) but I can write that off as a product of the times and his abilities. I was skeptical at first about his gift and tend not to go for supernatural elements in my stories, but it was done pretty well here and pretty briefly. It also served as a nice impetuous to get them up to Scotland. I liked the hidden baby thing in this book, although I will admit I could easily have gone for some more angst and arguments about it on both of their parts. However, I guess it went a long way towards showing how great they were together that they did not resort to screaming and really just wanted what was best for Geoffrey.
Rating: Significantly better than the previous two books with many of the good elements without the more irritating things. Carlyle back to her typical goodness.