Expected Release Date: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

Official Blurb:

After waiting five years for her fiancé to return from the war and marry her, Roxana Langley has been jilted! She may have longed for excitement, but this was not what she had in mind…

Who could possibly throw over a woman as beautiful and vivacious as Roxana? Certainly not Alex Winslow, the Earl of Ayersley, who has spent years trying in vain to forget his unrequited love. When he learns she’s been abandoned by her cad of a fiancé, he finds himself offering a shoulder for her to cry on. Comfort soon turns into a passionate kiss—and scandal when they are caught in an embrace.

Only one thing will save Roxana from certain ruination: marriage to the earl. The match may save her reputation, but responsible, tongue-tied Ayersley is a far cry from her dashing former fiancé. She’s convinced Ayersley is merely doing his duty…while he’s sure Roxana is still in love with another man. Are they trading one disaster for another?

What Worked For Me:

  • I’m a sucker for unrequited love.  Alex has been head over heels in love with Roxana for years, but she appears to hold nothing but disdain for him.  Not to mention the fact that she’s unofficially engaged to not just another man, but to Alex’s biggest rival.
  • I’m not a big fan of missish virgins on their wedding nights in general, but Roxana was a lovely mix of both fear and excitement. I admit I was a little irritated with her at times for her behavior and attitudes in regards to the sensual side of the marriage, but overall the steam level was quite tasty.
  • Roxana’s ex was a wonderful foil. Not only did he add confusion on Roxana’s part, but of course gave plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings.
  • On a similar note, I was happy to discover that any Big Misunderstandings weren’t really all that Big to begin with, and were easy to work through without seeming as though the characters just brushed the issues to the side.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • I was so frustrated by Roxana’s character at several parts. She was so foolishly obsessed with her wayward “fiance” that she was almost blindingly naive at times despite her age.
  • I was also frustrated by Alex as well. He had many opportunities to really cultivate a relationship with Roxana but there were several instances where he let some very good opportunities pass for apparently no good reason at all.

I do love a good “unrequited love” story, and for once, it’s the hero who is starry eyed and the heroine who is completely and even carelessly unaware of the situation.   Alex and Roxana had great chemistry, and while I of course thought they needed to work a bit on their communication, I have to admit that if both of them were logical creatures with great communication skills, this story would have been boring indeed.

Instead, there were just enough misunderstandings and misapprehensions to keep things interesting without making you want to reach into the story and give the characters a good shake.

A very solid 4/5 Stars.