From the moment Daphne, Lady Pomeroy, meets the mysterious Marquess of Hartwell at a masquerade ball, she’s determined to seduce him. The handsome, charming man cannot possibly be the cold, calculating lord who Society calls “Black Hart.” Risking everything, the lonely widow invites the elusive Hartwell to her dinner party . . . for two.
Hartwell’s arrogant reputation is built on a lie. For he has a shameful secret that keeps him in the shadows: a stutter—his downfall since childhood. He’d rather keep his mouth shut than look the fool. But he’s shocked to discover that in Daphne’s company—and in her bed—his stutter vanishes.
After one wanton evening together, Daphne is hurt when the lord lives up to his Black Hart name. Yet his reasons for leaving surprise even him. Now he must confess everything or risk losing Daphne forever…
Daphne Pomeroy throws a masquerade ball and is instantly intrigued by the masked man she dances with. Unfortunately he leaves before she learns his name but her brother is all too happy to share that information. The man is the Maquess of Hartwell otherwise known as “Black Hart” by the ton because of his aloofness and what they feel is a coldness of heart. Daphne is not put off by this description of Hartwell as she saw something different in him when they danced.
She eventually sees him again and invites him to an intimate dinner. She is quite bold and they end up in bed. Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding things go awry but in the end love prevails.
Those are the basics of the book and don’t really tell you all the intimate details of this lovely story. I thought that for as short as the book was that Erickson did a fine job with her characterizations of both Daphne and Cam.
Cam has an affliction which he was berated for constantly in his youth by his father. Because of this he chooses to stay, more or less, out of the spotlight of the ton and tries to speak as little as possible. Because of this the ton believe is a hard, uncaring man. I loved that Daphne saw something else in him that no one had taken the time to see. It’s these little things that I love about romance and this one had it in abundance.
Daphne was quite bold in this story – much more so than I expected. It didn’t make her a bad person though and I liked how she went after what she wanted. She was a woman who had been foisted on to an older man by her father and though she had a loving relationship with her deceased husband she hadn’t felt the passion that she felt with Cam.
I did have some issues with the story. One was Cam’s stutter. He had it but we rarely saw it. I can understand that he felt more confident around Daphne and it didn’t appear when he was with her, and since he was with her for most of the book this made sense. The other issue I had was the misunderstanding that involved a note that was sent to Daphne’s house but never arrived. Yes, it was worked out in the but we never found out what happened and for some reason that bothered me. Probably petty, I know, but there it is. The last one was the scandalous affair itself. Yes, what they were doing was scandalous but did anyone ever find out? Is it really a scandal if no one knows? IDK. :)
Overall I thought it was a sweet story and one I enjoyed. A nice addition to the Merry Widows series.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5