When Marrying a Scoundrel

When Marrying a Scoundrel - Kathryn Smith Fortune-teller to the wealthy hopes that the man she married in a pagan wedding ceremony when she was 15 doesn't divulge her true identity to the public. They have not seen each other since he left her in London to make his riches abroad 12 years ago. Each blames the other for their marriage breakup. They attempt to continue on with their separate lives in London but seeing the other with a different partner encites strong feelings that eventually lead to sex. But there are things from their past that are kept secret from the other & there are certain people that know Hero & heroine from the past. Will their past secrets detain them from a future together?

I really liked Smith's When Seducing a Duke so I expected this book to be as good of a read. I was wrong. This book was an unpleasant read for me. The characters were so fickle with their ambivalent feelings & hot-cold treatment towards each other. For example, Hero professed to have loved heroine every day of their 12-year separation. Yet several occasions in the book he expressed his tendency to bed different women casually. He was even almost overtaken by his lust for another woman with heroine in the same vicinity. He would've had sex with the other woman too if not for the interruptions. He also expressed how much he detested heroine on occasion. Both main characters frequently seesawed in how they thought about each other. They disliked each other & wanted to continue living life as an unmarried person. Then, next thing you know, they were both in love with each other & professed to how they've never stopped loving each other & always viewed the other as their spouse. All these repetitive seesawing of thoughts & feelings drove me nuts! It only showed how emotionally immature Hero & heroine still were. The reasons they left each other 12 years before were weak(Hero wanting to prove himself capable to his grandfather & heroine thinks she's not good enough wife for disinherited Hero) & showed how childish they were 12 years ago. Not much changed when they were reunited.

Emotional tone of the book was very variable b/c it depended on what the main characters thought & felt about the other at that particular time. Sexual chemistry was present but the sex scenes, though somewhat detailed in writing, felt more lust-based. Hero & heroine's feelings of love for each other were just too unstable & shallow.

Not much to recommend.