For years Rose Danvers has wanted Greydon Kane, Duke of Ryeton, and he has reciprocated by lusting after her for years. But Grey promised Rose's father on his deathbed that he would not touch Rose and would instead find her a good marriage, and as her guardian he has been doing his best to get thoughts of her out of his head. He has been a recluse from society ever since his face had been sliced open by an attacker. No one knows who the attacker was but everyone suspects it is one of Grey's many spurned lovers, from when he was a heartless rake. On one of his few journeys out, he attends a masked party and ends up with a woman who reminds him so much of Rose. When Rose sees him out on the real world, she is both disappointed and relieved that he does not recognize her as his midnight lady. When Rose reveals herself he decides the best way to handle everything would be to marry her off to someone her father would approve of.
But Rose is not at all amenable to this solution and sets out on a mini course to try to win Grey; reading scandalous magazines, flirting with other men, and spending as much time with him as possible. But Rose is a social butterfly who has enough scandals in her past, what with her fathers death, and he does not want to add to her problems by adding his scandal ridden past to hers and he does not want her to come to resent him when he does not join her on her social outings. Despite his best efforts it is not long before the two are caught in a scandalous situation and Grey decides that they should marry. Eventually his past does begin to catch up with bothof them and Rose does not know how much longer she can stand the gossip and the whispering. Both Grey and Rose are on the edge, both knowing they need the other in their life, but also not sure if they're ready to make the necessary sacrifices to make their relationship work.
I could tell fairly early on in this book that I was going to enjoy it as Rose and Grey immediately came across as two characters with so much emotional turmoil going on and I could not wait to see them work it out with the other's help. The first thing that presents itself is Grey's crippling fear of going back out into society that he cleverly disguises as hatred of the hypocrisy in society. It would have been a little cringe worthy if it did not really wind itself through all the elements of the book and it is explored from so many angles by different characters that it becomes more than a problem, it is a part of who he is. And it is so much better because it is obvious that Rose is just the woman who is meant to help him work through all of his issues and bring him back out. Grey has an admittedly very dissolute past that it took a lot of work on Smith's part to make him a worthy hero for Rose, and she cleverly makes him so- but really he only becomes good enough for Rose with her help.
Their relationship happens mainly on an emotional level as they work to sort out their issues and really support each other, such as when Rose learns the truth about her father's death, but it is also quite physical. There is a lot of sex between these two and it is absolutely scorching; these two are very compatible in bed. I admit I was a little irritated at first about the plot about her father not wanting the match between them, but once again Smith is very deft with her plot devices and makes it work very well in the story. I love that Rose went after what she wanted and even running away and making such scandalous decisions fit in with her character and she was so just so brave and caring, willing to stick up for herself and those she loved. I was rather hoping that the book was setting up a series based on his siblings, but although there is a series coming along, it involves other people from the scandalous club.
Rating: The characters worked very well together and so many great plot angles that brought out the best in both of them and really strengthened an already well written romance.