The death of her mother has put a heavy weight upon Maggie Brown’s heart and with more troubles lingering, Maggie and her and her mother’s long time friend decide to get away from it all for a few days, when a chance encounter with a handsome stranger, sets her young heart turning to love, she knows it will be a short romance that will live in her heart forever, as she and her stranger part ways. When she returns to London she’s forced to sell herself in order to save herself and her home from the streets, only she’s shocked when she meets again her beloved stranger whom wants her and her services and to find out he’s no other then Adam St. Clair, Marquis of Belmont. Through their arrangement the love that first blossom between them grows even stronger even as duty and society try to tear the lovers apart. Staying up till 3 in the morning to finish this book I was surprised I’ve never picked up a Cheryl Holt book before! Her writing, her characters all came together so beautifully, it was very hard to stop reading as each twist and turn in the story made you want to know what would happen between Maggie and Adam. Both characters had so much emotional depth to them you quickly side with them hoping for their happiness. As with the case with Maggie, a daughter of a long time Courtesan, Maggie has been raised with the knowledge of what goes on between men and woman, but still holds a innocence about her, a deep hope and light that carries on throughout the story, this hope is tested and at times you would think would have been crushed up all she goes through, but Maggie has a backbone of steel and a love even stronger. Not many care for the courtesan theme story, but I for one enjoy them greatly, as they show another human side of ...living, in a time that women didn’t have many choices in their lives, courtesans I felt had to be super strong for they knew their heart could be easily broken, and tossed aside or never be the man they love wife. Cheryl Holt writes this in great emotion, the trials Maggie goes through, her mother went through and even Adam’s father’s mistress went through. The story pulls at her heart, but also shows you the great strength we woman have after our hearts are broken. With Adam, everything about his station in life was drilled into his head by his cold mother, until he feels the weight of the world upon his shoulders as he’s force to marry some young miss, his brother suggests a trip away where Adam meets and falls half way in love with the gentle and caring Maggie. Later when he finds her he’s royally PO’d thinking she lied to him, about whom she truly was. Adam never forces Maggie to have sex with him, but he does cause her some major grief along the way. Many of times throughout the book, I became very angry with Adam and how he seem to always sit judgement on everyone, the deep pain he felt when his father loved his mistress and his children he had with her more then him, left him having no love for mistresses or his half brothers and sisters. With his cold mother always blaming his father, Adam grew up scared of his feelings, showing them and somewhat bitter. Maggie and Adam childhoods shapes their outlook later in life, it made Maggie more insightful while Adam more leery, and very prideful. The time it takes for Adam to finally see that he loved and needed Maggie, something gets in their way. Adam acts like a total bastard after this event even more, because of this brought down my enjoyment of the story, the urge to kick him and make him see was the blight of the whole book, the saving grace of course was Maggie and the secondary charters and the parallel relationship between Adam;s brother James and Anne, Maggie friend, in the end though Adam comes through showing us the reader and Maggie whom the great man he could and would be- something long overdue IMO! Overall: just a beautiful and touching story that will have you reading to see the long fought HEA between Maggie and Adam.