When Victoria discovers that her friend Chloe disappears after spending time in London as a courtesan, she and her friend Marah decide that the best way to find her will be to integrate themselves into that part of society. Victoria pretends to be Ria, a famous courtesan, and the two put it through town that Ria is quite skilled. Justin, the Earl of Bayberry, is stunned to realize this famous lady of the evening is actually his wife; the wife he left after their wedding night because her father had blackmailed him into the marriage and he did not think he could trust her. Justin had broken Victoria's heart and she does not want any feelings for Justin coming up and does not want him interfering in her search for Chloe. But Justin does get in the way and wants to know exactly why she is in London and will use any methods necessary- including seduction.
Victoria can not help herself when it comes to Justin and the two have trouble keeping their hands off each other, but neither can trust the other after the blackmailing and the leaving on the wedding night. With no other choice, Victoria agrees to let Justin help her find Chloe as everyone realizes that there are people out there who know what happened to her, including a man both of them think is potentially dangerous. The more time the two spend together, the more they each regret how their relationship played out, and Justin fears that he may want a real marriage with her. But Victoria has one more secret she needs to share with Justin and it may just mean the end of their relationship forever. But when Victoria's father comes and spills the beans about the blackmail, and the dangerous man from Chloe's past comes to confront Victoria, Justin faces the possibility that he may lose Victoria forever and that he cannot face.
So these two had quite the past as leaving someone on the wedding night is something it will take a lot of work to overcome. He does work to overcome this, but it is made especially annoying as all he would have had to do was ask Victoria if she had anything to do with the blackmail and so many problems could have been avoided. And the fact that after the marriage he chased after every woman he could find made the situation even worse. And then when she spills her secret he gets upset with her, and without saying what it was, I will say that, while she should have told him, he should have been there for it and I sided much more with her on this, even though it supposedly evened out what he had done to her. The major thing these two had going for them was sexual chemistry and there were times when he admitted the only method he had of controlling her/ getting through to her was by seducing her. The sex between them was fairly frequent and incredibly hot and very very well done.
The plot with Chloe disappearing could really not hold my interest and I can not really figure out precisely why. I felt as though I should have been intrigued and I did enjoy that it was integrated into the book and really meshed with everything else that happened, but I just did not like it. Maybe because it was so overarching and took up so much space, maybe because I couldn't help but feel that Victoria was going about finding Chloe in the most ridiculous and far- fetched manner possible. It didn't help that when they find Chloe I wanted to slap her upside the head for putting her friends through hell. I did like that the story was a little mysterious and I wasn't really sure until the very end what had happened to Chloe and who was involved. Their was a completely non- discussed side romance between Marah and Justin's brother that I wish had been written about more, as it wasn't really touched upon.
Rating: There were so many frustrating elements of the book but I did enjoy some of the emotions that came out about him leaving her.