When I picked up this book I was totally convinced I was going to read a nice traditional regency. A shotgun wedding between an innocent Miss and a more experienced rake found in a compromising position seemed just the thing to entertain me for a few hours.
Why, oh why, would Lord Melbrooke, England's dashing poet laureate, marry a raucous imp with little dowry and less social position? Only Lynden, his seventeen-year-old bride, and her fretting family knew the truth. For the arrogant aristocrat had compromised the girl (or so said an archly ambitious aunt), and nothing short of matrimony would stop the scandal.
Astonishingly, Lord Melbrooke agreed. But now Lynden's pride burned. Her husband, it was said, had tasted the charms of England's most famous women and even now kept an elegant mistress at a nearby castle. Did he think he'd been trapped by a conniving society chit? Though it might break her very heart, Lynden was determined to set him free.
Lynden is forced to marry Lord Melbrooke after they are found in his bedroom by her family members. Lynden shows some aversion to being married like that but eventually she agrees and they leave for one of Melbrooke's estates in the company of Lynden's twin sister Lorraine.
I was convinced we were going to have Lynden and Melbrooke getting to know each other but instead the action focus more on Lynden and Lorraine's adventures trying to find more about a local smuggle/highwayman they come in contact with and who surprisingly similar to another gentleman they are introduced to. Lynden behaves very childishly towards Melbrooke who always seems very remote and not prone to share his emotions, he does however tell her he want's to have a true relationship with her.
In a way this book reminded me of Heyer's A Convenient Marriage. A much older hero marrying a young girl and then a rocky relationship where she gets in all sorts of complicated situations and he has to go to the rescue. In ACM however we actually see a relationship beyween them and how there is some attraction growing between them. Here I had no idea why Melbrooke put up with Lynden's bad manners and why did he fell in love with her. I think the story needed more time spent on the relationship of the hero/heroine to truly feel they were developing some feelings for each other.