This is a spin off from The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor: Justine and the Noble Viscount \ Annalise and the Scandalous Rake \ Charlotte and the Wicked Lord, more specially Amanda McCabes story in the novella and I think it is a good idea to read it first as we our couple actually meet for the first time in that story, though it is recapped well in this story. Lady Emily Carroll is terribly shy and has earned the nickname 'Ice Princess' amongst her peers as she is beautiful but still has no husband and can not seem to talk to any one. Nicholas, Duke of Manning, has always been intrigued by the quiet, if clumsy, beauty but knows it is time to find a wife and fulfill his duties as duke. Nicholas has a sad secret that is deeply buried from his wild, loving family and he has no hopes of marrying for love, just some companionship. When circumstances force Emily and Nicholas to become engaged, the thawing of both of them begins.
This was a very enjoyable book with a swoon worthy hero and and heroine that comes into her own beautifully and proves that she is no 'ice princess'. I have enjoyed both stories that I have read by Amanda McCabe and was pleased to discover she has quite a back list under this name and also writes under the name Laurel McKee. She seems to write characters that are believable with their flaws and some steamy love stories and I am looking forward to more by this author! 4 stars