This is book 6.5 in the MacKenzies & McBride series.
Coming out of a friend's home, Rose Barclay, the young widow of the Duke of Southdown encounters a very drunken Steven McBride. Seeing that he is in no shape to see himself home, Rose has her coachman bring him with her.
Steven wakes up to a splitting headache but the most beautiful woman is taking care of him. Needing to get home, he has the perfect planned for tricking the journalists that are camped out trying to find the latest scandal the young widow is involved with. He has the carriage brought around and announces to all that they are to congratulate the couple as they are to get married.
Rose can hardly believe her ears, but soon realizes that Steven's plan has it merits. He has also agreed to help her get her inheritance from her step-son.
What happens when the fake engagements seems all too real?
Having not read the other books in the series, I would worried that I would be confused as to who everyone was. While characters from the previous books did come into play, it in no way took away from the enjoyment of this story. It actually intrigued me to seek out the rest of the series so that I can read their stories too.
Even though this was a novella, I felt that the author did a great job of developing the story and the romance between the couple. I really liked Steven. I thought pretty poorly about himself, but should true character in the way he jumped in to help Rose and others along the way. Even though Rose was not of noble birth, she acted much more noble than her step-son. It was nice to see that she didn't cower when confronted by the people that thought she didn't belong.
Jennifer Ashley is definitely an author that is now on my must read list and I eagerly await the next installment in the series.
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