Thanks to his somewhat fickle, Shakespeare loving mother, Oliver Le Beau Blackthorn and his two brothers, are bastard sons of a earl but raised with every convenience expected as heirs except for acceptance into society. So when a young, silly in love, Beau decides to propose to the beautiful Lady Madelyn, daughter of an earl, he dressed to impress and expects a delightful 'yes!'. Oh but what follows is cruel and beyond hurtful to both his pride and body and changes Beau from a happy, not to many cares young man into a grown man intent of revenge on Lady Madelyns spiteful brother, Thomas. He gives not much more than a passing thought to the young lady there who teased him and offered an apology, until she turns up on his doorstep seven years later.
Lady Chelsea, Madelyns younger sister, is in dire straits. Her now God-fearing brother Thomas has decided to marry his sister to his esteemed, but always wet mouthed (shudder) Reverend Francis Flotley. Naturally, this causes much alarm to Chelsea as she can plainly see that the reverend is just using Thomas for his money and refuses to marry the awful man. As she knows some of what Beau has been up to these past seven years, she decides to bring forth her proposition of them marrying as it would benefit them both. She would not have to marry the reverend and in return she will not tell her brother what Beau has been doing to his business earnings. When Chelsea arrives with this plan, in broad daylight and with no chaperone, even in his slightly drunken haze, he agrees knowing that it could mean his death from Thomas, who surely will challenge him.
What follows is a slightly mad-cap of comedies along the way to Gretna Green. We get the lovely addition of Olivers (as Chelsea calls him) brother, Puck who is quite of bit of fun and had me laughing quite a bit. We get to watch Oliver and Chelsea try to ignore their growing attraction and eventual fire they create together. Now, Chelsea is bossy and unpredictable, a mix of intelligence and naivete and this can get a bit annoying at times but I thought her overall determination and humor helped balance her out a bit. She has no problems telling Oliver what she thinks and how their plans should go about and Oliver didn't seem to have much of a spine and always listened (though her plans were normally on par for the situation). One of my favorite lines from the book that seems to sum up their relationship is this: "God make have taken a rib from Adam to give to Eve but, one way or another, Eve had been bashing Adam over the head with it ever since." Always makes me chuckle.
Overall, this was my first Kasey Michaels book and while I didn't love the main characters at times, I still rather enjoyed it. The secondary characters add some fun, drama and general creepiness and bitchiness (in the form of the now not-so-lovely Madelyn). I can not wait to read Pucks book, A Midsummer Night's Sin, and in the future the other brother, Black Jack, book. This isn't a serious book, but rather a book full of eyebrow raising moments and twists and turns that leads to a satisfactory ending for not just Oliver and Chelsea but also for Chelsea and her brother and the starting incident. 4 stars
I received this ebook from the publisher via netgalley.com