This book was a wild ride. I honestly had no idea where it was going, what the heck was going to happen, and whether or not I even supported the romance. My feelings about this book are just all over the place. Ultimately, I think I end up on the disliking-it-most-than-liking-it side of things, but I will definitely be reading more Suzanne Enoch in the future. After all, it takes a special kind of book for me to text my friends at every single plot twist.
This book features the Marquis of St. Aubyn otherwise known as “Saint.” The name is a complete misnomer: he has bedded half over London and drinks until dawn. He also (thanks to his late mother) heads the board of trustees at the Heart of Hope Orphanage—a position which he completely hates.
Evelyn Ruddick is the epitome of everything Saint is not: hard-working, organized, and compassionate to a fault (seriously…she spends most of the book helping her obnoxious brother get elected to parliament even though he is a complete dingbat to her). She also desperately wants to help out at the Heart of Hope Orphanage.
After the two come head-to-head, Evelyn decides that the too-attractive-for-his-own-good Saint desperately needs some reforming. Meanwhile, Saint decides that he definitely wants to bed the proper-but-delectable Evelyn.
The hijinks that Evelyn enacted to reform Saint were frankly wonderful (I won’t spoil them, but needless to say I was surprised at her resourcefulness). Despite her strong attraction to him, she had a backbone of steel and refused to dance to his tune. As strange as this sounds, I loved Evelyn’s ability to see the bigger picture. She put a lot of thought into how she was going to improve the lives of the orphans at the Heart of Hope—she didn’t just coo and knit ugly sweaters. She attended political teas and danced with cringe-inducing men to further her brother’s political career not out of sibling loyalty but because of her honest belief that he would be a great politician. While she did (regularly) make sketchy decisions surrounding Saint, extreme sexual attraction will do that to a girl. I would love to befriend Evelyn: you can just tell she would have your back through thick and thin.
I just couldn’t get myself to like Saint. I have low patience for bad boys (an unpopular preference in the romance genre) and so Saint just really got on my nerves. Like….Seriously what do you see in him Evelyn? As far as I could see he had zero redeemable qualities other than a six pack. I understand the appeal of a challenge, but once you strip away the brooding and alcohol all you get is a hyper-possessive man.
This book was a lot of fun. However, at times (and the reason for the two star review) it left a bad taste in my mouth. The initial interactions between Saint and Evelyn included borderline—if not outright—sexual harassment and Saint’s dedication at getting into Evelyn’s pants at the expense of her reputation seriously bothered me. The consent, frankly, was just too gray for me to fully enjoy this book. The twists and turns of the plot could not make up for the queasy feeling in my stomach.