The third in the Armstrong sisters series. There's something so appealing (well to me) about the supposed plain jane blossoming and helping her hero loosening his own chains that bind him and set him free. Lady Cressida Armstrong and Giovanni di Matteo were both such intriguing characters both on the same coin and how they deal with the emotional scars their fathers have inflected on them through their lives. Making them who they are when we first meet them. Giovanni is a well know portrayal artist whose become hallow from his success of the "perfect" art he paints to please those of the ton. What burns deep in his heart is the prove his biological father ,a count ,wrong and that he can live without riches and show what a true artist he is. When he meets Cressida he sees much of himself in her and wants to help her break free from her chains. Only he finds himself being helped instead. Cressida finds joy in her mathematics (a model of Ada Lovelace) even going as far as to disguise herself as a man to get into meetings of the society's great minds. Her father wants his 'sons' portrayal and uses Cressida shamelessly and wants her to take over being a governess to her spoiled brothers till her sister's coming out is over. Thinking it may give her some time to work on her thesis she's floored when she meets Giovanni and an idea pops up with between their meetings to prove that beauty and art can be set into mathematics sequences. This deal between the two leads to more then either bartered for. Math and Art both passions for out leads but also a shield to the hurt. Giovanni and Cressida have their scars from being the old man out and pawns used by their fathers. It not easy for either of them to hold up mirror to the other and see how they've hid and let anger rule. Giovanni was just a delicious hero who was sensual but held back because of as past that made him feel dirty to the innocent minded Cressida. I adored Cressida who takes alot in stride when it comes to Giovanni and while he shows her there's more to life, he also needs to forgive himself a break and forgive himself for some past misdeeds. There wasn't any misunderstandings to hinder the story just a great flow that focus on characters and their need to heal. Just beautifully done. I just can't say truly enough on how lovely it was to find this gem and hoping the stars I gave this book speak for themselves.