Sigh...what a beautiful story of a man bent on revenge falling so thoroughly in love with a passionate woman who is trying to hide her past failings all while, of course, not realizing it. Miss Antonia Smith is the fiercest companion of the ton to Miss Cassandra Demarest, protecting her from all the rakes, and for a good reason as Antonia had her own falling out with a rake that ruined her reputation and forced her to become a companion. When the notorious rake, Nicholas Challoner, Marquess of Ranelow, shows interest in Cassie, Antonia tells him to leave her alone. Oh, when these two lock eyes, you can just feel the attraction and passion they instantly have for each other. Nicholas immediately seems through Antonia attempts to disguise herself, her cap can not conceal her silvery blond hair, the tinted spectacles can't hide those ice blue eyes and the frumpy clothes can not hide the young pretty woman beneath them. As they talk, he knows that she must be from a proper family but can't understand why she is trying to hide herself.
Nicholas is set upon ruining Cassie, just as her father ruined his beloved sister twenty years ago. He did not have a great childhood but his sister was his one bright spot and when she was sent away for being ruined, he hardened his heart and decided to become a rake. But when he meets the lovely tigress Antonia, he just can't shake her from his mind. He knows he must have her and surely that will get her out of his system. When he finally gets Antonia to follow through on their mutual desires, smokin, but the desire is stronger than ever.
Anna Campbell wove a beautiful story and her writing of these two falling in love and snapping with each other was a pleasure to read. I loved watching this hard man slowly meld into a caring, loving man that loves and protects with everything inside of him. And Antonia, the poor woman had been forced to shove her passionate nature down because of a young foolish mistake and she paid for it dearly losing her family and bits of herself but Nicholas put her heart back together and breathed life back into her. I really loved this book, I can not really think of anything that I wished was different. The cover is gorgeous as well! This was my first Anna Campbell book and I am really looking forward to savoring her backlist, her writing was just beautiful to me. 5 lovely stars for this one!
Thanks to www.netgalley.com for providing me with the ebook arc.