STORY: Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits—and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information.
Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him—even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love…and he cannot survive being fooled again.
REVIEW: Olivia is a young woman on a mission to find a job inside the home of the Alistair, the Duke of Marwick. Answering an ad for the position of a maid, she is delighted to find herself hired as the housekeeper. Alistair has become a virtual hermit since the death of his wife from a drug overdose. He has also discovered that government secrets he had been charged with keeping were passed on by her to others. Thus, he has been dismissed from his government position and ostracized by his friends. In addition, he has not left his bedroom for a long time. He has turned into an angry, unkempt and downright mean man.
When Olivia meets him, she is appalled at his appearance and uses every bit of her strong ways to get him to allow her to help him clean up his physical looks, his correspondence and get his home back in order. His servants have not kept the house clean and Olivia is faced with a job to get things clean and running smoothly. The relationship between Alistair and Olivia is tenuous at best but they slowly get to know one another better.
I think that since Alistair had been betrayed by his wife, he has a hard time allowing himself to respect women in general. But Olivia is a strong and stubborn woman so they are equally matched. For me, trying to figure out the reason Olivia chose to go to work there in the first place was confusing. However, there is a mystery of sorts which does not reveal itself until later in the novel. I feel that the lack of more explanation about this is the reason I gave the book a lesser grade. The growing attraction and mutual respect between them does make for a sweet and memorable love story.
*Connie for b2b.
*ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.