Rose MacIain is a beautiful woman with a secret. Desperate and at her wits' end, she crafts a fake identity for herself, one that Duncan MacIain will be unable to resist. But she doesn't realize that posing as the widow of the handsome Scotsman's cousin is more dangerous than she knew. And when a simmering attraction rises up between them, she begins to regret the whole charade.
Duncan is determined to resist the tempting Rose, no matter how much he admires her arresting beauty and headstrong spirit. When he agrees to accompany her on her quest, their desire for each other only burns hotter. The journey tests his resolve as their close quarters fuel the fire that crackles between them.
When the truth comes to light, these two stubborn people must put away their pride and along the way discover that their dreams of love are all they need.
Good book, though a little slow at the start. Rose arrives in Glasgow at the end of her rope and the end of her resources. The Civil War has hit her family hard back in South Carolina, and she has come to see if the Scottish branch of the family will brave the blockade and purchase the last of their cotton. She's taken some liberties with the truth in order to ensure that she'll be listened to.
Duncan is a mill owner who is struggling to keep his business going. The war in America has made it difficult to get the cotton necessary to do so. The arrival of his cousin's beautiful young widow gets his attention, especially when she faints at his feet. Her proposition is interesting, but could it be even more dangerous than it appears?
There were sparks between Rose and Duncan from the very beginning. It was fun to see the effect that they had on each other. Duncan was constantly finding himself distracted by her beauty. He was so intrigued by her that he would come home for lunch every day and leave work earlier than usual, just to be able to spend time with her. Rose is just as intrigued by Duncan, and begins to regret her deception. Duncan had previously decided not to accept Bruce's offer to sell him the cotton. He didn't care for the impression he got of Bruce's character and lifestyle from the letters he received and was reluctant to support it. His conversations with Rose only reinforced that decision. Rose is desperate to get Duncan to buy their cotton. She needs that money to support the few people that are left living at the plantation. I loved his surprise at finding himself giving in to her pleas.
Rose has a mind and will of her own. When she sets out on a course of action there isn't much that can get her to change. As hard as Duncan tried to get her to stay in Scotland while he retrieved the cotton, he could not get her to agree. Nor would she agree to remain in Nassau. It was fun to see Duncan start to respect and expect Rose's willingness to express her opinions and stick to her decisions. Forced into close quarters on the voyage, it isn't long before their attraction gets the better of them. I enjoyed seeing him realize his feelings first, and express them in an incredibly romantic way for such a previously controlled man. It took Rose a little longer because of her fears, but she too is eloquent in her expressions of love.
Things take an unexpected turn when they arrive in South Carolina and discover that Bruce is back home from the war. He has lost a leg and his cruel nature has become even worse. I ached for Rose as she learned the heartbreaking truth about her sister's attitude toward her. Things got a bit intense when Bruce tried to exact his revenge upon Rose. Help came from an unexpected source, and Bruce ends up as the focus of someone else's revenge. That was very satisfying. Duncan and Rose also receive some unexpected good news that contributes to the success of their trip.
I enjoyed the epilogue and seeing where everyone is a few months later. I loved the teasing that was going on among all the family members. Their love and support is obvious, but there is also a great sense of fun now that they have all found their loves.