Magnus Eddington, the Earl of Rutherford, has recieved a death sentence from his doctors. With just about a year to live and little to show for his efforts at living he sets out to buy himself a wife that might provide him an heir.
After interviewing a few potential wives, Caroline Wembley applies for the position. Caroline is desperate for funds to help her mother and very ill brother. Her family was left destitute after her immoral father died. Besides the fact that Wembley (the father) was a pervert and a disgusting human being, he was also a baron which makes her a great candidate for the position of wife to an Earl.
Magnus is taken quite quickly with Caroline. He finds her quick wit as attractive as her other attributes which she has displayed in the only pretty gown she had.
I really loved this one. I could not give it a perfect score because the Earl had moments in which he was just a complete ass. The fact that he could not take time to give Caro a chance to explain why she needed money and Caro was also to blame since she just took everything he tolled out.
Yet the love story was sweet and unhurried.
The Magnus was flawed and desperate. He was so vulnerable in his illness and his emotions were so fraile after years of debauchery and idle pursuits. He never learned to trust, always shielding his heart from anyone that could get close enough to hurt him. His only refuge was his brother and there was betrayal there as well.
I'm a sucker for wounded heroes, both emotionally as well as physically and the Earl fit the bill.