Best of the series and still with some flaws. What I liked about this one is that there were no villains waiting to pounce or any mysteries to unveil but just a straight up love story of a Duke that is too stupid to love but not too stupid to realize when groveling in needed!! LOL!
The story starts by introducing us to the heroine which comes from a very unlikely background. Gabriella is the illegitimate daughter of Rafe Pendragon's half brother Burton St. George, Viscount Middleton who was the villain in Rafe and Julianna's story. She has sneaked into Rafe's townhouse in order to kill him for the 'murder' of her father but threatens Tony instead.
Tony disarms her, steals a passionate kiss and proceeds to tell her that Middleton was a vile and dangerous man. Rafe shows up and after confirming Tony's tale offers to shelter Gabriella and make her part of his family. She refuses and flees, but after talking with a close friend seeks to reaquaint herself with Rafe and Julianna.
Now Anthony Black has decided to never marry and is content in leaving his title to his cousin but his attraction to Gabriella might put a hitch to his bachelor days. He realizes that there is a very strong attraction to Gabby and tries to put as much distance as he can between himself and Rafe's niece but time after time he finds himself sharing passionate kisses with her, or if not, standing up with her so society will not snub her due to her illegitimate status. It is on one of these occasions where they are separated from their party on an outing that they are discovered alone and Tony finds himself in a position where he must marry if he is to salvage Gabriella's reputation.
Here comes the mid-story 'event'. This series all have been following a formula where there is a period of time where the couple gets to know each other and then we move into the part where the 'big misunderstanding' takes place. After Tony and Gabriella wed, they are living blissfully until Gabby overhears a remark Tony makes to Ethan. She is all upset and when they go back to London, drops Tony as a hot potato. Well, Tony is not letting that happen and convinces her to allow him to partake of her favors so she can provide him with an heir. This is the second part of the story where Tony discovers he loves his wife and has to make amends.
I love the desperation that is portrayed by Tony when he discovers his feelings and Gabriella just doesn't believe him. I think the story itself was a bit out there since the period was not one of acceptance in society of bastard children. This story line was extending it a bit but in general I found this one the best of the three book of the series.