"A woman seeking revenge finds herself tied to a man seeking redemption."
Reviewed by Leanne Davis
Posted January 18, 2011
Lady Merryn Fenner has been been seeking a way to revenge
herself on Lord Garrick Northesk. He killed her brother and
destroyed the remainder of her family in one night. Her
father died shortly after her brother's death. Merryn lives
with her sister but has found a calling for the rest of her
life. She works with a friend doing investigations for his
agency. When she is led to some information that might
expose the Northesk family, she uses her skills to uncover
Lord Garrick is now the Duke of Farne. He has inherited 27
properties and a fortune. It can't alleviate the guilt he
feels for the death of his wife and his best friend.
Garrick has spent years covering up the horrible facts that
led to those deaths. Now, he has Merryn working to uncover
them. He must learn his role as Duke, evade the traps laid
for him as a catch and work to prevent Merryn from exposing
As they work around each other, they will be caught in a
scandal. The only option is marriage or they will both be
Garrick is drawn to Merryn and marriage to her would be no
hardship but the memory of his wife's perfidy makes him
pause at the thought of marriage. Merryn can't believe that
everyone is forcing her to accept the Duke's proposal. He
murdered her brother and she wants to see him hang.
However, the marriage takes place and the two of them will
have to work at making it a success.
The closer Merryn comes to the truth, she will learn that
her brother wasn't the man she thought, the man she works
for has been using her, and Garrick isn't the villain she
believed. Garrick will be forced to face the past and learn
that he has the support he needs to move forward with his
life. The betrayals will strike deep but their love will
overcome the barriers they face.
The final book in this trilogy, Ms. Cornick has a triumph on
her hands. Each time I read a book by this author, I find
myself surprised at the events she describes and the
intricacies of the plot. The reader will find themselves
drawn into the lives of the characters and reluctant to come
to the end.
Merryn Fenner is on a mission to ruin the Duke of Farne. A
beautiful bluestocking with a penchant for justice, Merryn
has waited ten years to satisfy her revenge against
sensual, mysterious Garrick Northesk. Her family name had
been tarnished at his hands, her life destroyed. And now
she intends to return the favorâ€”by finding the true heir
to the duke's title and disinheriting Garrick.
Yet when a disaster traps Merryn and Garrick together,
white-hot desire stirs between the two sworn enemies. Her
reputation utterly compromised, Merryn is forced to do the
one thing she cannot bear: accept the scandalous marriage
proposal of the man she has vowed to ruin.
He could see that she had absolutely no desire to speak
with him. The stiffness with which she held herself and her
furtive glances towards the nearest exit told him she
wanted nothing more than to flee. That was understandable.
And this was not, perhaps, the best place to force a
confrontation, in the august surroundings of the Kingâ€™s
library, with the Kingâ€™s librarian and his assistants
watching avidly from behind a stack of books. But that was
too bad. He could not risk her running out on him again.
Her scent, that elusive fragrance of bluebells, wrapped
about him and made his body clench with longing. Even
without Hammondâ€™s information Garrick thought that he would
have known at once that she was the woman he had found in
his bedroom, the woman who had slept in his bed, an
intimacy that had haunted his thoughts ever since. He could
picture Merryn between his sheets all too easily, her
slight, lissom body lying where his had lain, her hair
spread across his pillow, and her bare skin against the
cool linen. He felt as though she had somehow imprinted
herself on him and he could not break free.
She was looking at him with impatience and disdain, as
though he was some importunate suitor or writer of
particularly bad sonnets.
"I wanted to apologise," he said easily, "in case I was
the cause of your distraction this morning."
He saw her bite her lip and knew that she was caught
between the desire to give him a set down for his
presumption and the equally strong desire to cut him dead
and run away. The latter urge won out.
"I am sorry," she said, "that it is quite impossible for
me to talk to a gentleman to whom I have not been formally
introduced. Excuse me."
She made to pass him but Garrick put a hand on her arm.
He lowered his voice and spoke softly in her ear. "Some
might say that our informal introduction â€“ in my bedroom
two nights ago â€“ would suffice as a basis for our
He saw that she was a little shocked at his direct
approach. No doubt she had not expected him to be quite so
blunt. Gentlemen, generally, did not speak so frankly to a
lady. Her body stiffened, her blue gaze narrowed. Her
perfect bow of a mouth pursed in a way that made Garrick
want to kiss her. The urge hit him hard, squarely in the
stomach. He felt as though the breath had been knocked from
his lungs, felt a hot pull of desire that went straight to
his head and also lower down as well.
Something of his feelings must have shown in his face
for he saw the blue of Merrynâ€™s eyes heat and intensify for
a moment as though responding to his need. Her lips parted
on a tiny, startled gasp. He took a step forward, narrowing
the distance between them to nothing. But already she was
retreating, slipping away, the shimmer of desire in her
eyes banished by cold disdain
"I beg your pardon," she said, "but I think you mistake
me for quite another lady." There was the slightest
emphasis on the word "lady." "I am not the sort of woman to
be found in any manâ€™s bedchamber. That would be most
She turned towards the door again and Garrick leaned one
hand against the jamb to bar her way. "You ran away last
time," he said. "You are not going to do so now."
Her blue eyes flashed ice. "I do not take direction from
you, your grace."
"So you do at least know who I am," Garrick said
gently. "I thought you were claiming that we had never met?"
She looked irritated to have been caught out. "I heard
Sir Frederick mention your name, that is all."
Garrick smiled. "How disappointing to discover that you
did not deliberately seek to learn my identity," he
She flicked him a look of polite scorn. "I am sure that
your graceâ€™s self-confidence will survive the blow."
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