Only desperation could bring Duncan Pennethorne, the infamous Earl of Sheringford, back home after the spectacular scandal that had shocked even the jaded ton. Forced to wed in fifteen days or be cut off without a penny, Duncan chooses the one woman in London in frantic need of a husband. A lie to an old flame forces Margaret Huxtable to accept the irresistible stranger’s offer. But once she discovers who he really is, it’s too late—she’s already betrothed to the wickedly sensual rakehell. Quickly she issues an ultimatum: If Duncan wants her, he must woo her. And as passion slowly ignites, two people marrying for all the wrong reasons are discovering the joys of seduction—and awaiting the exquisite pleasure of what comes after...
After getting her sisters married and knowing that her younger brother is set, Meg Huxtable decides it's time to get married, and the next time the Marquess of Allingham proposes she'll accept. But something happens...actually two things: Crispin Dew, her former secret fiance, who broke her heart years ago, wants her back. And then she finds out that the Marquess is already engaged. She running out of options fast...and then she introduces a stranger as her fiance to Crispin. The stranger just happens to be the infamous Earl of Sheringford. Five years earlier he eloped with a married woman, now dead. He is back in ton to look for a wife, not because he wants to, but because he needs to.
I love the way Meg and Duncan's story begins, and I have to share it with you (taken from page 43):
"Excuse me," she said when his grip on her arms did not loosen.
"Why?" he asked her, his eyes roaming boldly over her face. "What is your hurry? Why not stay and dance with me? And then marry me and live happily ever after with me?"
I found this story heartwarming, sensual, and full of surprises. The first surprise was Meg, in the previous two books I found her dull, in this one she shows strength of characters and the willingness to make her own decisions without the "help" of her family. The other was Duncan, the rake with a heart of gold, he truly was a wonderful character. Although I found him too good to be true at times. And there's the real reason for Duncan's elopement. I refuse to spoil it for you...You just have read it!
The most surprising aspect of the book was the honesty that existed between Meg and Duncan right from the beginning. I found that very refreshing.
This one is my favorite of the series. And I can't imagine what the author has planned for Stephen's story, he seems to be a perfect gentleman, maybe she'll add some spice to his life. And there's Con...he sparked my curiosity in the first book and it hasn't deminished. I hope he has his own story.
At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh (4.5/5) Historical Romance; Published: Dell (5/2009); Series: # 3, The Huxtables; 2009 100 + Reading Challenge (68);