Jacinda Knight is not planning to marry a man who has been like a brother to her and so she picks up her belongings and runs away, straight into the arms of Billy Blade, the gang leader that helped Damien protect Miranda in Lord of Ice.
We definitely get to know the man we thought to be a thug. It seems the Blade has kept a few secrets from his gang. The most important one being that he is actually the Earl of Rackford. He ran away from a dismal future at a young age, so he can sympathize with the chit of 18 that he digs out of a heap of garbage. He finds her enticing and pure, and something in him calls to her straight forward way as well as her undeniable strength of character.
When he is caught by the Bow Street runners, he has to shed his guise of gang leader and pick up the cloak of Earl. He doesn't mind it so much because he can now compete for the love of the one woman that has touched his soul. But is seems that things don't go as smoothly in his aristocratic life as it did in the rookery and when Jacinda does not immediately accept him he becomes a lost pup. One that Jacinda just cannot bring herself to kick to the curb.
What I liked about this story is the same thing that I disliked. The dramatic change in Blade, from rough ruffian to vulnerable man. Billy just doesn't appear to fit in, and he questions his worth until the very last pages of the book. Even after Jacinda has accepted her fate and has given the scoundrel her heart he still has self esteem issues. I do appreciate though that Foley does not leave any loose ends, extending the book beyond the wedding of our main characters until the resolution of Billy's past. I also appreciate how the relationship between these two develops into a strong friendship before Jacinda admits it is love.
Funny though that I felt the age of the couple through out the book. They were a very young couple and, although Blade had lived a hard life on the streets, he was portrayed as a very young soul. Kudos for Foley that is talented enough to make the distinction between this romance and those of her older brothers.