Justin has a troubled past, he's been exiled by his king for killing a man in a duel, defending the honour of his deceased wife. After 8 years spent across Europe, he gets a message telling him he will be pardoned in exchange for one thing. This one thing turns out to be marriage to Alina. Justin doesn't know why the Prince Regent is forcing this union upon them, but he can't turn down the opportunity to finally be able to come home again. Even though he never wanted to marry again after his first disastrous marriage.
Alina basically had two options: marry Justin or be married off by her aunt to a man of her aunt's choosing. And her aunt doesn't much care for Alina, so there isn't much hope for her there. Besides, she really wants to meet her mother's family in England. Meeting Justin, she's pleasantly surprised he's not some sort of ogre. But of course there's trouble ahead, will it serve to drive them apart of keep them together forever?
I enjoyed reading this book, it started pretty slow and I didn't really like Justin in the beginning. He had a pompous ass air hanging over him, very noticeable in the first part of the book because he was mostly interacting with the Prince Regent and one of his male servants, who he both looked down upon. Later on he turns out to be pretty charming, even though he's still a bit of an ass to his servant. To be fair, the man is portrayed as pretty silly, so maybe he can't help it.
Anyway, I thought Alina was a pretty good heroine, she's free spirited and knows her own mind, she's also pretty optimistic, which was nice. Sometimes I didn't understand her reactions to the things happening, but hey, in real life I also get baffled by choices other women make and it didn't really bother me reading the book.
Normally in romance novels I see the clue coming from miles away and this time I didn't, so props to the author for that!
I have one 'but' to add, one thing I felt was missing: I didn't cry. And I'm a HUGE sap, I almost always cry reading romance novels. Even when it's not sad. The emotion portrayed in the book wasn't enough to trigger my tear ducts, and that's a shame, cause I love it when books make me cry.
My rating: 3 stars