Genevieve Stafford, our heroine, is considered to be aloof, respectable and everything a lady of Regency should be. She’s also worried that she will never marry, so she decides to pray at the shrine of St. Dwynwen to find love. The legend of the saint was told to her previously (in one of the other books in this series, which I haven’t read) but she finally decided it couldn’t hurt. And voila, her prayers are answered and she meets Lord Dursford as she is leaving the chapel.
Fast forward a few months, and she is betrothed to Dursford even though he is rather stuffy and thinks that she shouldn’t associate with her friends as she is accustomed to. While at a ball, she receives a cryptic note to meet Sir Myles Thorwood in the library. Myles is an old friend of the family, so she doesn’t hesitate, even though it’s a rather odd request since they’d already spoken that evening. Alas, it’s a ploy to get her into the clutches of a drunken lout who assaults her, and they are caught in a compromising position that shreds her reputation to tatters. Being the time in history when the woman is simultaneously the victim and the one to blame, Genevieve is ruined in the eyes of society and her only hope is to marry. Now you’d think her already betrothed would step up to the altar, but no…he’s just not about to do that. Instead, Myles offers for her hand and she promptly rejects him.
Even though she and Myles get along, she feels his offer is only out of obligation but soon realizes there isn’t any other choice. They have a history of bickering, and yet Myles does seem to be a good man and he does his best to woo her over. Eventually they wed and Genevieve discovers that the physical side of marriage is quite enjoyable as they spend some time away from London alone. It’s a pleasant enough story to this point, nothing new or outstanding though.
And then suddenly it all changes direction, as if Ms Camp realized that the story needed more drama. The reason for Genevieve being alone with the cad in the library is revealed, and Myles is completely outraged that she put herself in that position. The mood between them descends quickly into the frosty sub-arctic, separate bedrooms are established and they can’t speak without fighting about everything. On top of this situation, there’s still someone trying to make Genevieve look bad in society by dropping malicious gossip about her so Myles and Alec (her brother) have to figure out who that is. Things bump along until the end of the book, and we have happily ever after.
Overall, too many cliched situations and emotional whiplash to provide unnecessary drama. At least there was no unnecessary chicken marsala!