He was a man exiled from society - handsome, unpredictable, and proud. Dark rumours surrounded his name. But Anne Burnett had signed a marriage contract binding her to Aiden Black, the Earl of Tiebauld. And although she′d never met him, she′s determined to keep her word and make theirs a marriage in truth. Because a well-bred lady with little fortune to recommend her has no choice.
From the moment she arrived, Anne fell in love with Kelwin Castle and its roguishly handsome laird. By day, he instils a fierce loyalty in his people with his masterful ways...and by night, he tempts Anne to surrender her innocence to him. But while he is willing to offer his body, Aiden refuses to give Anne his heart...making her wonder what prevents him from truly claiming her as his wife.
The sympathetic protagonists and engaging writing style characteristic of Maxwell's Regency romances will ensure that her latest (following Because of You, Falling In Love Again) will be well received by newcomers and loyal readers alike. Set in 1815, the narrative unfolds as plucky Anne Burnett, an impoverished orphan, is married by proxy to the Mad Earl Tiebauld, Aidan Black, and sent to Castle Kelwin in Scotland to tell him the news. Handsome, powerful and eccentric (but hardly "mad"), Aidan is less than thrilled when he discovers that his sister arranged the marriage. Although he tries to send her back to London, stubborn, resourceful Anne digs in, winning over his clan. Slowly Aidan's life changes from the inside out, and he begins to doubt if he wants to send her back after all. Amusing and romantic by turns, the relationship is further complicated by a subplot involving a band of Jacobite rebels with whom Aidan becomes entangled, but the affair between the two sparring equals remains paramount. Despite the addition of an epilogue and an afterword, both unnecessary after such a well-wrought tale, this is a delicious read from an accomplished Regency author. (Feb.) Forecast: Maxwell mixes humor with meticulous characterization to create memorable stories. Since she's not the most prolific romance writer, her fans will be eager to get their hands on this rewarding Regency, though a generic cover doesn't add much to the book's appeal. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.