Royal Kendrick meets the self-assured yet very pampered Lady Ainsley Matthews when they’re seated beside one another at a society event; he’s captivated immediately by her wit and beauty and they drift away to talk in private. Royal still suffers pain from a severe leg injury sustained at Waterloo, and is a homebody who loves reading and peace and quiet more than anything, so the societal whirl of the ton doesn’t impress him. Their flirtation and banter leads to a fight and a kiss, but Royal and Ainsley are interrupted by the melodramatic Leonard, Marquess of Cringlewood, who turns out to be Ainsley’s betrothed – a man she’s not attracted to nor seems comfortable with. Fourteen months later, Royal is still ensconced at his brother Nick’s Castle Kinglas, specifically its library. Nick and his new bride Victoria (hero and heroine of The Highlander’s Princess Bride) are accommodating and kind, but they’d prefer he got on with the business of living and leave them to the business of being newlyweds, and suggest he visit Underhill Manor in Cairndow to see Ainsley, proper invitation or no. Ainsley’s engagement to Cringlewood is no more, but Victoria is worried about Ainsley’s well-being, especially as her letters indicate that Cringlewood might be threatening her, so Royal goes to Cairndow to check on her.
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Grade: C+Check Review