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From Goodreads: When Max, Earl Blakehurst, meets Verity he sees a downtrodden servant. He doesn't recognize her as the daughter of a colonel under whom he used to serve, the girl he'd once helped years before. The life Verity's now living is untenable. So he proposes a shocking solution—he will set her up as his mistress.
It's only once that Verity's finally agreed, once Max is beginning to lose his heart to her, that he discovers her true identity. Max is taken aback; he would never have suggested this lady become his mistress. Now, to avoid scandal, they'll have to marry!
Oh Verity, poor poor Verity. She goes through so much in this book! When her father commits suicide a mysterious stranger is the only one who offers condolences and kindness to Verity. She has no one left except for an aunt and uncle who take her in. She is treated horribly and is in every way just a servant, she isn't treated with any respect and yet she cannot leave as she has nowhere else to go. Max hasn't forgotten about Verity and when he visits Verity's uncle he inquires after her. He is told that she died soon after arriving because the death of her father was too much to bear. It is after this meeting that Max meets Verity or "Selena" as she is being attacked by her own cousin. He defends her and their relationship begins. He likes her and thinks she looks similar to Verity, he feels he should help her after "failing" Verity. Soon after she agrees to be his mistress he founds out two things: that she is a virgin (when he thought she wasn't) and that she is in fact Verity, in that order. He feels betrayed and tricked and forces her to marry him. He takes her away with him to his home where she is treated rather badly by his family. She doesn't want to get married and tries to convince him to call off the marriage, but he doesn't. They don't speak to each other much, but over time (and after many misunderstandings) they finally see eye to eye and fall in love. Forgive my long summary, there is just a lot going on. The characters were frustrating at times and I wanted to slap Max every once in a while. Deep down though I always thought he was a good guy, luck simply wasn't on either of their sides. Verity is sad and alone often and it was kind of depressing to read.
I give this book 3.25 Stars!
(I know I know, 1/4 of a star! But I felt it was necessary this time)