Edward Byron, the Duke of Clybourne, has been engaged to Lady Claire
Marsden since he was 11 and she was a newborn. As the time for
him to marry approaches, he decides that Claire will in fact be suitable. The only
problem: she doesn’t want to marry him - not because she doesn’t
like him (she does, very much), but because she knows he doesn’t love her.
Therein lies the first problem, one afflicting so many historical
romances these days. Claire doesn’t want to marry the man she loves
because he doesn’t love her, so she’d rather behave so dreadfully that he
washes his hands of her and never sees her again. Erm, really?
And Claire’s behavior is really bad. She comes across as a stupid,
spoiled young girl with no thought for anyone other than herself.
Edward becomes more and more amazing as he puts up with her behavior
and - the second major problem - somehow it makes him fall in love with
her. Yes, that’s really going to happen.
The plot requires that heroine and hero are at odds for most of the
time, although Edward’s amazing forbearance somewhat blunts Claire’s
success. He decides to try to seduce her to get his own way, although
apart from this he seems fairly unselfish in this book. The big problem
for this reader is the unlikeable Claire. I can’t find it in myself to
rejoice that Edward finally gets her. I think he got a bad bargain there!