In Victorian England, little Ellie Browning swiftly discovered happily ever afters did not exist and rakes were simply rakes. When the man she had adored for years kissed her and left her heartbroken, and she was forced to marry an elderly earl to save her reputation, she resolved to put any dreams of fairy tales aside.
Seven years later, the now widowed Eleanor, Countess of Hawthorne, has returned to England after years of traveling and is now part-owner of a cotton mill left to her by her late husband.
But the owner of the mill, and the very same handsome rake who hurt her years earlier, has no desire to let a woman interfere with his business, let alone little Ellie Browning - no matter how fascinating he finds her since her transformation from coltish scarecrow to almost graceful countess.
Lucian is still recovering from the after-effects of one of his mills succumbing to fire, and now he's fighting to save the other in a tough economic climate. He doesn't need this new distraction, especially when after a series of accidents, it becomes clear someone wishes the mill to close and he has to find the culprit - fast.
With things heating up between Ellie and Lucian, it's not only apparent that the mill is in peril - they are both at risk of getting burned....
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Charming, romantic and a little unusual.
Ellie - she's opinionated, strong and successful. She isn't a blushing simpering heroine at all.
The fire - don't want to spoil the plot but it is an exciting scene.
Many of them and that's what led me to this book. I actually sought out books read by her. Excellent as always. Authentic and warm and clear. She brings characters to life.
A decent read..
- Trish R.