Catrin is an adventuresome Welsh girl that, after a near-death experience, has decided to embrace life to its fullest. She is determined to find a rich husband so she can continue the bright and colorful life that she is living as the darling of society. After acting as a nurse in the Crimea and then coming through a shipwreck as the only survivor, everyone wants her story, but she tantalizes them further by not giving it to them.
One of the many who want Catrin’s story is William Christie. His motive is not for gossip’s sake, but for the story’s part in a lucrative business deal that he is arranging. William is a ruthless Scot who has pulled himself up out of the gutter to become a rich man. Society grudgingly accepts his presence, but they dare not refuse the fearsome man who holds the purse strings of the many extravagants of the aristocracy.
William plans to seduce the story out of Catrin and continue on business as usual. Catrin throws him for a loop. Not only does she see right through him, but instead of discouraging her, she shows herself eager for his attentions. Catrin’s zest for life and William’s desire to dominate the business world are seemingly at odds. William may have met his match and Catrin may have found the one man who is can match her need for a companion who fulfills her need to live to the fullest.
This was a novella so there was not a lot of space to allow for development of story. Carrie Lofty wisely kept the plot simple and it moved along just fine. There is an opportunity to get to know these truly well-written characters to see the conflict and passion develop and see what they do with it. The story touches on the historical backdrop without really dwelling on it. The focus is entirely on the relationship that develops between the characters.
I should point out that this falls as #1.5 in the series, but chronologically it is the first read.
Nice steamy passion between strong characters who bravely set out on their own paths to fulfillment even if it’s against the flow of Society. I look forward to reading more about this extraordinary family.