Lady Kate Crowmore is finally free of her monstrous husband, but the ton that expects her to mourn the bastard, has also turned her back on her, since she was found in her lover's bed the night she got the news of Crowmore's death. So Kate has come to Blackhaven to lick her wounds and to forget about the scandal...Yet the townsfolk also cut her. Except the mysterious curate, Tristram Grant.
Grant knows there's more to the wicked lady that meets the eye, but he'll need all his cunning and perseverance to get under Kate's protective armor. He just hopes, he's in time, before someone kills her.
This story was love-at-first-sight on steroid. They only met and he already said he wanted to marry her. Sheesh. Needless to say, I wasn't convinced about the romance. I wasn't really convinced about the main protagonists, in fact. I found facade of wicked lady a little too abrasive at times (I know she had her reasons not to let anyone close, but still), and he came across as too much of a doormat sometimes. In the end, I felt they worked better as friends and confidantes than love interests.
It was really the supporting cast that saved the day. From the supposed French spy who turned out to be Tris's half-brother (I didn't really care much about the other brother, though), Kate's maid, the good doctor (some other man than in the first book) and his wife, the magistrate and his wife, the Muirs and the happy couple Wickenden (I liked the "wicked baron" better than in his own book, he sounded lighter and happier, I guess).
And then there was the suspense. A little less prominent than in the previous book, but still intriguing, even though the big mystery was revealed quite early on. Still, it kept the reader guessing just what might happen next and just how the hired hands would get about ridding the world of Kate Crowmore.
It was the "resolution" that left a big question mark on everything. Why was the suicide needed?
The romantic sub-plot also had a slightly iffy resolution with all the passing of Kate between the two brothers (figuratively speaking) and I'm still not sure just what was with all the haste. She's already made up her mind, couldn't he wait another day?
It felt like the story was all over the place, really, with various plot elements not really connecting fully, creating a rather disjointed reading experience. It would've helped a little if the romance was solid.