Annalia is the main character of this novel. Her story is a bit complicated but let me just describe her as a single woman of high social status. She is living in her very nice home atop a mountaintop with her limited staff. Her brother is her only family. She has other family in Spain but she will only go to them if in dire need.
Her brother, Aleix, is out fighting Pascal, who is the bad ass villian of the book. Pascal has imprisioned Aleix, and is requiring Annalia to wed him in exchange for her brother’s life.
Before finding out about the marrige request, Annalia finds Courtland MacCarrick passed out on the river bank below her home. She and her horse pull him to her home and with the help of a few kids and her helper Vitale, carry Court to an upstairs room that locks. Annalia nurses his wounds and is clumsy geting his clothing removed. She makes Vitale bathe him. Basically, she seems very prudish. However, one day that she is wetting him down because it’s so hot, she drips water over the sheet covering his privates, which causes the fabric to press down and make it very apparent of what lies beneath. Right at that time Courtland wakes up to ask her “Do you like what you see?”
He finds Annalia very interesting. He enjoys ruffling her. She doesn’t reveal much personal information so he has to ask Vitale about her and to even get her to come back to his room to talk to him. He ends up picking the locked door she keeps him in and roaming around her house. He finds her one evening in the study crying after reading the letter about her pending marriage to Pascal and asks her what is wrong. Of course she doesn’t tell him but he does get her to have a couple of whiskeys and even a kiss out of her. His men decide to show up at exactly that moment.
The next morning she asks him and his men to help her retreive her brother from Pascal. Court has done nothing but make her life hell. She picks on him and he picks on her.
I feel like I’m telling the whole story so I’m going to stop with that. He does agree to help her but she gets so fed up with him that she ends up leaving that morning for Pascals without him and his men. The remaining of the story is fast paced and action filled.
The tone and the story are very well written. I was able to relate to both characters. I love that Kresley wrote Court’s accent into the dialogue. There’s nothing worse than having to adjust the text to an accent. I prefer reading misspelled text that is true to the accent than reading the correct spelling but then reading “he said with a french accent.” There’s a whole thing about the MacCarrick brothers being cursed in this story but I didn’t dwell on that much. It’s hardly brought up and when it is it’s not that much to think about. It’s almost not even needed really.