"...he avoided London, believing that as long as England ignored him, he could ignore England. And England did ignore him, right up until it didn't."Alec didn't want to be a Duke, he hates all things English, he inherited it only after the seventeen people in line before him died all with in two weeks of each other. Alec did his duty only going to London when absolutely necessary and never staying long and for five years he kept to himself and only did as much as required, until he discovered that along with the households of the previous seventeen Duke's he also inherited a ward. Now Alec must go to London and try to repair her reputation.
Lillian Hargrove always felt invisible, a tradesman daughter who became the ward to one of the seventeen Dukes of Warnick that died, now she's never even met her current guardian. She resides in one of the houses lost somewhere in between not quite a house guest and not a servant she's just there, until one day her shy beauty catches the eye of an artist and he turns her world upside down. Thinking herself in love she posed nude for him believing it was just for his eyes only but then she finds out rather publicly that he plans on displaying her nude portrait at the Royal Academy Exhibition of Contemporary Art. The bastard played her and then made it seem like she was a willing participant, that this was something she wanted. Lily was left hiding in her house ashamed and determined that once she come into her inheritance in a few weeks time she could escape it.
Alec didn't even know he had a ward until the solicitor told him just a few weeks before. (On a side note when they say Alec is huge, at 6'5 that is a full foot taller than the average height for men back then) Alec knew Lily would be beautiful, what he didn't expect was her attitude. She wasn't the swooning, weak temperament he was expecting instead she stood up to him right from the start and didn't shy away from his large and imposing stature. Alec is determined to find her a husband before the big reveal of the portrait, but his own feelings keep getting in the way. Alec's stubborn and demanding ways is enough to give Lily the back bone she needs to take charge of the situation.
Overall, this was quite the entertaining read. Lily and Alec exchanging insults and occasionally crossing the line from fun to hurtful but all in all it was a fun read and the heartache and misery Lily has to go through makes good reading.