I'm hoping this ends up being one of those series that gets better after the first book. I like the concept, I love the characters, and the romance was hot, but the story in this one fell flat for me.
Aidan and Lily meet on the night of Lily's failed theater debut. After flirting and a kiss, they do not meet again for three years. Now a widow, Lily is helping her brothers set up a gaming den. Once a respectable family of the ton, the St. Claire's now live on the edges of it as theater owners. Lily was adopted by the St. Claire's as a young teen. Her mother, a prostitute addicted to opium, died when Lily was a child. Lily spent the years after her mother's death and before her adoption living on the street. Aidan and Lily meet again at the gaming den. Their attraction for each other is immediate and scorching and they can't seem to stay away from each other.
Here's the thing, Aidan is a Huntington and the St. Claire's hate the Huntington's. They were the cause of St. Claire's ruin a hundred years before. Lily knows she should stay away from Aidan. Her family would definitely not approve of their relationship. Aidan has no idea why the St. Claire's hate him. He does not know his ancestor one hundred years before ruined that family. From the description, I assumed there would be mutual hate between the families, but it seems to be all on the St. Claire's side. It was a bit odd, but maybe it will be different in future books.
The sex was a pleasant surprise for me. It was more on the erotic side, with some light bondage and horse crop whipping. It was well written and hot. I think though, the story could have used one less sex scene, and instead have one more with the two getting to know each other beyond sex; it would have added to a more believable love story.
I think I would have liked the story more if it had been more focused on the conflict between the two families, instead of Lily's past. I was more interested in the families and enjoyed reading those bits more than Lily dealing with the ugliness of her past.
I do plan on seeing where McKee takes this story in the next book. She had one scene between the next couple, Dominic St. Claire and Sophia Huntington in One Naughty Night that was quite intense. I hope that intensity continues in their book.
ARC provided through NetGalley.