On the untimely demise of her parents, Miss Cassandra Whitney endures abject poverty raising her siblings. She faces further torment as her landlord, the odious Baron Scudder, threatens her with eviction if she refuses to assent to his offer of marriage to her younger sister Belle. As Cassandra fights to save her family, she inherits a title, an estate and a ruin of a castle.
News of Casandra’s inheritance travels fast, reaching the highest circles in the ton. The Dowager Duchess of Taunton immediately sees her as a worthy match for her son Maximillian the 6th Duke of Taunton a renowned rakehell. The dowager also plans to take control over the castle which would be a prestigious venue for her many balls and hunting weekends. However, neither Cassandra nor Maximillian have any desire to wed.
Both did not anticipate the manipulative powers of the dowager who slyly arranges a meeting between them.
On seeing Cassandra, Max is suitably impressed with her wit and ironic humour. Already tiring of one of his mistresses, she would be a welcome replacement. Although charmed with his handsome looks and seductive overtures, Cassandra puts him firmly in his place.
Can Cassandra resist the devilish overtures of the Duke and the devious ploys of the dowager?
It doesn't happen very often that I don't finish a book and in a way I did finish this one as well because I kept skipping pages just trying to find out what happened. That's why I rated it with two stars and not less, actually.
The story itself sounded promising and I expected a nice read, just something light and entertaining.
Well, instead of that I found myself breathless and rather stressed, trying to keep up with the book that seemed to rush from scene to scene, invoking one villainous scheme after the other till I felt that I couldn't keep up with the story anymore.
The interactions between the characters are not very convincing and rather unlikely and the characters themselves remain one-dimensional with the dowager duchess resembling a caricature, always crying for a servant to be whipped and put in the stock and whatnot - and a rather disagreeable caricature as that.
"Too much" one the one hand when it comes to the story and the things happening and "not enough" speaking of the characters, while making my head reel with the fast pace and the chaotic style.
This was my first book by Katy Walters and I fear that I won't try to read another, once was enough.