Thomas Merritt is a thief with a past. He attends the betrothal ball of Lady Julia to the Duke of Temberly to steal the lady’s jewels. But when they meet, he is captivated by her innocent beauty and they share an unforgettable night together.
Unfortunately, a year later Julia has been disowned, her fiancée is dead and she now must support herself as a paid companion. Not all is lost though.
Her employer’s brother doesn’t seem to care about her indecent past and the whole family is off to Vienna. The same city Thomas is staying in and meeting him again will change Julia’s life again.
Lecia Cornwall writes well, but the book has flaws. I was surprised how much of the story had the hero and the heroine separated without knowing the other was near. I thought having a good portion of the book being about each individual rather than the couple would be a severe detriment but both characters showed more than adequate longing for each other despite the year of separation. Unfortunately, at times the couple’s love seem based on little more than infatuation after one night together. The infatuation phase of the story lasts much longer than the actual falling in love, which can make the beginning feel a bit repetitive and slow.
The secondary character of Major Lord Stephen Ives was engaging. His gradual development of feelings for Julia was heartbreaking because you know he is a nice guy and isn’t going to get the girl, but that only makes readers want to grab the next book to find out who his true love ends up being.