Mercy Franklin was brought up believing that the vicar and his wife were her true parents but after the death of them, her mother reveals that she was adopted by them because her birth mother had unfortunate circumstances, leading Mercy to believe she was a wanton woman. Realizing she has no funds, she accepts the request to become governess to the niece of the Earl of Ashby, Nash. Upon arriving in a rainstorm and walking towards Ashby Hall, Mercy is run off the road twice, the second time throwing a man off his horse and twisting his ankle. She is startled by his scarred face but it does not throw her and she offers her assistance to the man. He accepts and has her remove his boot which leads to a few interesting moments that stiffen Mercys back.
However, much to Mercys dismay, when she arrives at the dreary, run down Ashby Hall she realizes the man is Lord Ashby and the first group of men are the servants. Even though Mercy is attracted to Nash, she must stay and be Emmalines governess. Emmy has had two tragedies befall her in her young life. First her father, the first Earl, was shot 'accidentally' at a hunting party and then later, her uncle, the second Earl, perished in a carriage accident. Naturally she is very reserved and a bit frightened of her big uncle with his scarred face but Mercy draws out the little girl. However, she is a bit surprised that there is no housekeeper or nursemaid in the house, just men that are from Nashs army days and in need of work.
As the story progresses and the fiery snaps between Mercy and Nash grow, Nash is investing his brothers deaths because even though they were ruled accidental, he just can't shake the feeling that they are not. Mercy has her mothers journal that she does not want to go through but one rainy day she reads it and is once again devastated and hurt. She keeps shoving down her feelings for Nash as she does not want to be a wanton woman like her birth mother and as she realizes that Nash is in dire needs of funds to survive, and she has none, she knows they can not be.
Now, this is where the beginning of the book comes into focus. Mercy, and her twin, were daughters of a lovely married couple, the woman being the daughter of a duke who disinherited her due to her choice of husband (who was wealthy in his own right, just not of noble blood). The duke is now on his deathbed and wants to find the girls and bequeath them a large sum of money. So there is a man, Captain Gavin Briggs, out searching for her and realizes that he is being tailed and knows Mercys life could be in danger. This is a running side story and I am happy to see Gavin is the hero in the next book in this series as he continues his search for Mercys sister.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. This was my first novel by Margo Maguire and I am very interested in continuing this story. There were a few looses ends that were left dangling and the suspense around the brothers death was interesting, if a bit predictable in some spots. I really enjoyed the premise of long lost twin sisters finding each other and look forward to reading that happen in the next book. If you are in the mood for a feisty heroine and a slightly scarred hero with a sweet child thrown in, curl up with this one. 3 1/2 stars
I received this ebook via netgalley.com