Author: Megan Frampton
Format: E-book (264 pages)
Publish Date: 8 April 2013
In this emotional and powerfully erotic tale of love and redemption, a tender vicar’s daughter and a tortured war hero discover that sin may be their only salvation.
When Mary Smith’s corrupt, debt-ridden brother drags her to a seedy pub to sell her virtue to the highest bidder, Alasdair Thornham leaps to the rescue. Of course the marquess is far from perfect husband material. Although he is exceedingly handsome, with a perfect, strong body, chiseled jaw, and piercing green eyes, Alasdair is also too fond of opium, preferring delirium to reality. Still, he has come to Mary’s aid, and now she intends to return the favor. She will show him that he is not evil, just troubled.
Mary was a damsel in need of a hero, but Alasdair’s plan is shortsighted. He never foresaw her desire to save him from himself. Alasdair is quite at home in his private torment, until this angel proves that a heart still beats in his broken soul. The devil may have kept her from hell, but will Mary’s good intentions lead them back to the brink—or to heaven in each other’s arms?
When Mary Smith is drugged, and sold off in a seedy pub by her half-brother, it's clear that she needs rescuing. Alasdair Thornham is the only rescuer available, and so he saves her. But Alasdair is hardly in the ideal position to be anyone's saviour as he's addicted to opium and consumed with guilt.
Mary is a vicar's daughter, who imagined a life spent in her village, teaching at the local school. When she's rescued by Alasdair, her life is turned upside down. Before long, she realises that Alasdair needs saving too, perhaps more than she does. I liked Mary, she's pragmatic and determined with a kind heart. She doesn't give up on Alasdair, and tries to help him with his addiction.
Alasdair decided that saving Mary by marrying her can be his final act of goodness before allowing himself to fall into the depths of his personal hell. He's mired in self-loathing and guilt, he's a truly tortured soul which made my heart cry out for him. He can be a bit autocratic and stubborn, but he had good intentions when he aids Mary. Although it's not long before his desire for her, starts to outweigh his need for numbness.
I liked that the characters were so essential to each other, they both needed help in different ways and saved each other. I also liked the plot's premise, but I thought it was rather poorly executed.
There were so many inconsistencies, Alasdair's recovery from addicition was unrealistic. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure after a day or two he'd still be suffering in agony from withdrawal. On numerous occasions the style and dialogue would also start to feel much too modern.
Another issue for me was that there was so much going on, and several times plot points were very conveniently wrapped up. The resolution with Alasdair's cousin at the end was over very quickly and neatly, it was disappointing after all the build up.
The characters saved this story for me. I enjoyed their sparring and chemistry. I thought Alasdair was particularly well written and was the perfect tortured hero waiting for the right woman to save him!
Overall the book was fairly enjoyable, but by the end I was just waiting for it to finish.
I received a review copy from Random House, via NetGalley.