This one was so much fun to read. I love historicals with smart heroines and Lady Philippa Marbury is a very smart woman. She knows she is odd compared to her peers. She likes to study anatomy and horticulture. She is engaged to Lord Castleton and is very worried about her marital duties. She is not sure what to fully expect and she is the type of person who likes to analyze and get all the details. She knows anatomy and has seen animals mate before, but thinks there must be more to procreation for humans. She decides an experiment is in order. She will learn all she can before her wedding day. And she thinks she has the perfect experiment partner - Cross, part owner of a gaming den with her brother-in-law. He has quite the reputation among the ladies.
Cross is absolutely captivated by Pippa when she shows up at his office with a proposition to learn all about sex from him. But he refuses. He doesn't think she deserves his darkness. Pippa, though, ends up finding her way into his life over and over again. And Cross finds it harder and harder to keep his hands off her. As for Pippa, the more time she spends with Cross, the more she realizes just how passionless her marriage to Castleton will be.
Cross is a tortured hero. But I love the way he sees and adores Pippa. He likes her oddities. He likes the way her brain works, her honesty, and forthrightness. He even finds her spectacles very sexy.
I enjoy historical romances that have the heroine saving the day. Cross sacrifices and Pippa plans. She's not giving up on happiness and a marriage with passion.
This is another great book by MacLean.
ARC provided through Edelweiss.