I love coming across an amazing author like Melinda McRae whose works turned out to be a hidden gem in itself. As a young sheltered seventeen year old and daughter of a powerful Duke, Elizabeth was seduce and ruined by a fortune hunter. When the duke washed his hands of her, Elizabeth has made a living in the country isolated from her father and family for many years until on a snowy day Somerset Graham, the Earl of Wentworth shows up at her doorstep needing help. Somers is entrance by Elizabeth even when he receives a frosty reception from her he can't help but wonder about her past and what a lady is doing stuck in the country. Out to repay her for her kindness in helping him, Somers uncovers more of Elizabeth's past that could undo the love that is starting the blossom between the two. I never care for pushy heroes who think they know better then the heroine and with Somers pushy ways did at times get on my nerves. Sometimes it takes a big push to get someone outta their shell and Somers did that with Elizabeth. Who wrapped herself in pride that she would no beg for help from a family who left her in her ruin without a backward glance and hurt from her beloved father who washed his hands of her when he should have took care of her protected her in her hour of true need. There is lot of trust that needs to be built between the two, the relationship starting off as more friends then lovers with an undercurrent of attraction between our leads that leads to some major bumps in the road. Elizabeth is a strong heroine who has grown from her past hurts and has grown a backbone and steel and won't let anyone push her around that that includes Somers. You feel for her even when a sad truth comes to light. that the baby she gave birth to from her ruin was really alive and taken from her without her knowledge McRae shines a brighter light on the complexity of characters who were stuck between a rock and a hard place if they found themselves in something that. For Elizabeth she's ruled by her heart for Somers common knowledge that a unmarried woman would be ruined if the truth came known. This was for me the turning point as both characters fight even harder to get their way but in the end both give up something in order for someone else to be happy. Somers truly became a man in love when he gave Elizabeth something she never had before:a choice. He was willing to sacrifice a future between the two and his love for Elizabeth's happiness. The cherry on top was the beautifully done epilogue of our couple a few years later to see that the love that swim through some strong waters still strong with still waters running deep. Leaving me with a happy sigh as I finished this keeper of a book and making me a Melinda McRae fan.