Shy, stuttering and normally rather timid Evangeline “Evie” Jenner shows up on the doorstep of notorious rake and scoundrel, Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent with a somewhat surprising proposition. Evie knows Sebastian is desperate for money, after all, not two weeks earlier, he tried to abduct and indicated that he would quite happily compromise one of Evie’s best friends, mainly because Lillian was a rich heiress. Evie is also due to inherit lots of money and rather sooner than Lillian, as her father is at death’s door with consumption. Unfortunately, Evie’s father is also a gambling club owner and her mother’s relatives are refusing to let her see him, keeping her under lock and key and beating and starving her, to force her into marrying her grossly obese cousin, just so the family can get control of her inheritance. She even fears they may kill her once they get their hands on her money.
Hence Evie needs a different husband very quickly, and one who won’t have trouble fighting off her horrible relatives. Having been a wallflower for more than a season, Evie knows she’s not exactly enticing to men, but she’s pretty sure the promise of all the money she can bring with her into the marriage will be attractive enough to St. Vincent. She makes him promise that they’ll depart for Gretna Green immediately, so they can be married before her relatives notice she has escaped and can track her down. Evie is also adamant that she will only sleep with St. Vincent on the wedding night, to ensure the marriage is properly consummated, but otherwise, their marriage will be one entirely of convenience.
When the newly-weds arrive back in London, Evie wants to stay at Jenner’s, her father’s gambling club, to tend him until he passes away. St. Vincent refuses to leave her there unattended, so stays in the club as well and as the place has clearly been mismanaged during Jenner’s illness, he takes steps to change things and ensure that the club that will be his once his new father in law passes, will actually be a profitable and successful business venture once more. Evie is surprised, as St. Vincent has never seemed interest in anything but idleness and leisure in the past. He claims he’s just protecting his investment.
An unrepentant rake, St. Vincent in time begins to grow frustrated when his wife refuses her favours. He’s not used to being rejected and eventually promises Evie that he will stay entirely celibate for three months to prove to her that he truly wants her and that she can trust that he will stay faithful to her. While the formerly timid wallflower shows her husband just how stubborn she can be, there are a lot of outside forces that wish the couple, and especially Evie, harm. Her relatives keep trying to abduct her from the club, intending to have the marriage annulled. One of the employees, fired by St. Vincent for incompetence, seems to have taken a particularly virulent hatred of Evie and tries to kill her more than once. Will the couple actually survive to discover whether they have a real future together?
Full review here.