This is the debut novel by Ashley March and while I did not love it, she seems to be a promising new author to keep an eye on. This story follows Philip Burgress, Duke of Rutherford, and his journey to get his wife, Charlotte, back. Philip and Charlotte were childhood playmates along with Charlottes brother Ethan and Joanna, a nearby neighbor. Philip was groomed to be a duke and with that all that that entails...being ruthless, cold and unfeeling. Joanna was destined to be his bride against her wishes and she decides to elope with Ethan, but that falls through and of course, Philip is furious and plots revenge. Revenge being wooing Charlotte and telling her he loves her, marrying her and after consummating their marriage, telling her it was all fake.
Charlotte is naturally furious and takes up all sorts of unduchess like behaviors: gambling, carousing and flirting in hopes of a divorce from the man she now hates. Philip refuses but then, three years later he sends off his mistress and decides to woo back his wife as he realizes he does, in fact, love her. He kidnaps her back to their home in the country and proceeds to tell her he will divorce her....if he grooms him to be a better husband for this hopeful new wife, Joanna.
This book has so many back and forth moments it is a tad frustrating. He loves her and gives her sweet gifts (a harp for one) but then remembers he is a duke and does not beg for anything. Charlotte goes from "I hate you" to "I love you" in a matter of minutes. And there is Joanna, caught in the middle, trying to help Charlotte embarrass Philip but later helping Philip trying to make Charlotte jealous.
Overall, this is a well written book with lots of sexual tension but to much back and forth nonsense for me. I think this is the first in a series and I will look forward to more books hopefully involving Joanna and possibly Ethan. 3 1/2 stars.