Claire Ashcroft despises Viscount Grayson Sutherland for killing her brother in a duel and sending her life into loneliness. She devises a plan to make Grayson fall in love with her and then turning him away, thus breaking his heart and causing him some of the same heartbreak she has had to endure. But she does not expect the attraction and sparks that fly between them. Grayson believes the lovely Claire is a widow and therefore fair game for his rake hellish lifestyle. Imagine his surprise as he pursues Claire and she is as skittish as a virgin! He just chalks it up to a short marriage with not much passion but when they share a passionate morning together he learns the truth of her deception and is furious and they part on bad terms.
Claire returns to her family home and is preparing to move forward with her life when Gray suddenly appears and puts an end to that as he is faced with the consequences of their time together. They return to his country home, a place he has avoided for two years as it holds very painful memories and has helped shape him into the man he is today. His mother arrives for a time and welcomes Claire with open arms and pushes for Gray to let go of his past and move forward with his future. This brings forward a game that Claire and Gray liked to play....move forward one step, then back two huge steps. Claire is having a hard time dealing with her feelings for this man who killed her brother and gets more frustrated when Gray refuses to tell her the truth of that day. She wants to know about his past and when he finally tells her what happened, sigh, heartbreaking. Gray doesn't think he can be happy again and when something goes wrong Claire gets a bit hysterical and thinks it's the universe telling her she is horrible for loving this man.
Now there are many times I wanted to smack these two. Claire gets upset with Gray and orders him to leave a few times and he just high tails it out without fighting for what he wants. But at the same time this was a moving story of two people who are not looking for love who have a lot from their past to overcome to find happiness together. This story starts off with a women bent on revenge but it finishes with the women helping her man let go of his tragic past and build a new life together while embracing the past and growing from that. This was my first Samantha Jones book and I look forward to more! I believe there are going to be four books in this series as there was a mention of four friends with this rakish life and I will be reading their stories! 4 stars
I received this ebook via netgalley.com