Source: Library ebook
Description: Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets his eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, and earl's illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress.
After her father's death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice except to accept the lord's indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love guides the last lost lord home. (from GoodReads)
Review: This is a good book with some problematic elements.
The most minor of those is that I felt that Evelyn was a bit inconsistently written. She seems to fluctuate between extremely sheltered and quite knowledgeable about real life as the plot required. The author seems to also forget she was mourning the recent loss of her father after a couple of chapters, other than paying the occasional lip service to black dresses. But I did like her, so I could overlook that.
The most glaring problem it has is the basic setup. While our heroine can leave, since she has no skills and nowhere to go, that does lead to rather iffy consent issues that could be problematic for some readers. However, I felt the book handled this issue about as well as it could be handled, with the book and characters acknowledging this was a problem and Rafe giving Evelyn control over when the relationship would turn physical.
The two problems I had with the book that I couldn't quite get past happen near the end.
The first is Rafe's issues. After a certain amount of build up Evelyn, and the reader, find out why he reacts to somethings in certain ways and what he's hiding in his room. Evelyn's initial reaction, building up his trust in her not to trigger him, seems reasonable and well handled to me. The fact that these issues seem to have disappeared after he survives an ordeal seems a bit trite.
Then there's the ordeal Rafe goes through. *SPOILER ALERT* (Highlight to read) *He is kidnapped and tortured. It's not explicit, but this is not really something I was expecting in this book and it's inclusion was quite jarring.*
I really liked the characters, but the ending was rather a let down for me.