On the run, accused of murder, Fleur is alone and scared on the streets of London, slowly starving, she only one thing left of value: her body. So when a man picks her up for sex, the experience leaves her changed, stripped of her virginity and sicken with herself. Thinking the life of a whore would never be for her, she tries one more time to see if she can find work. When a blessing comes from a Mr.Kent looking for a governess for his daughter. She finally thinks her life is on the mend, little does she know the Mr.Kent is the Adam Kent, Duke of Ridgeway and the man who took her virginity and bought her that night. Adam is a scarred after the Battle of Waterloo leaves half his body and his face with scares, in a loveless marriage, he finally gives into desire and has sex with a whore. Little does he know she was a virgin. Trying to get her out of his mind, he forms a plans for her the have a respectable job as his daughter’s governess, thinking that would be that as he’ll never have to truly see her as he’s away from home. The attraction between the two slowly grows from fear, to understand to friendship into love. Adam a true man of honor knows he can’t betray his wife or family again and Fleur still runs for a past that could have her hanged. As that night between the two set into motion huge changes in both their lives. The first chapter of the book is so dark that I was surprised I was reading Mary Balogh. The first meeting between Adam and Fleur is to put it lightly : Bad. A all around miserable sexual experience for both of them. Don’t give up though, because the hidden reward is great. The first impressions you get from the leads are very misleading. Fleur comes across as a strong woman at her limits, you have you applaud her for her courage, when many would have laid down and died, she kept on going. But inside is a scared woman, ashamed of the one night. The shame starts to transform itself into a fear of not only what would happen when she’s caught, but of Adam himself. I could understand Fleur fear and shame, raised in the time where if you gave your virginity out of wedlock, you’re a whore. Period. But I felt Fleur dwelled on it to much throughout the book, causing it to somewhat drag through the thought monologue. Although she had a lot weighting on her shoulders, I felt if she just open her eyes, she would see the truth staring her in the face sooner then later. Making her come across a stubborn and not thinking ahead. Adam was the one I was most curious to see how he would be redeemed, if he could be. The theme of adultly is a touchy subject for many. But how the story unfolds your seen beyond the adultly and the scars on Adam’s body and to the scars he has on his very heart and soul. You start to see Adam and the goodness in his heart. A true man of honor. Many would have buckled under the pressure, Adam stood up and carried the heavy load of the betrayal of his wife (with)and his brother. I don’t think many people would have done what Adam did, he wasn’t without his faults, but he went above and beyond to take care of his daughter and his wife. I don’t feel there was any true villain in this book, only those selfish to think of only themselves. Adam’s wife was selfish and truly only thought of herself, but you also pity her when she finally tells Adam along she knew the truth which he tried so hard to hide from her. The ending for Fleur’s cousin was very fitting after all he put her though, he ran like a dog with his tail between his legs. The pace of the book only somewhat drags through the middle, but it’s the ending chapters that are solid gold in their profound moments between Adam and Fleur as they finally admit their love to one another through bittersweet tears. Their second and true love scene, is so touching between them, knowing at dawn they would have to part and to never seen one another again. How they end up together is also very heart wrenching sweet it brought tears to my eyes. Overall: a very hard book to review without spoiling it, with so many moments that draw you closer to these complex characters as your slowly shown what their truly about. A beautiful and deeply meaningful romance between two people with deep scars and how they heal one another.