Synopsis: For prim and shy Daphne Wade, the sweetest guilty pleasure of all is secretly watching her employer, Anthony Courtland, the Duke of Tremore, as he works the excavation site on his English estate. Anthony has hired Daphne to restore the priceless treasures he has been digging up, but it’s hard for a woman to keep her mind on her work when her devastatingly handsome employer keeps taking his shirt off. He doesn’t know she’s alive, but who could blame her for falling in love with him anyway?
Anthony thinks that his capable employee knows all there is to know about antiquities, but when his sister decides to turn the plain young woman in gold-rimmed glasses into an enticing beauty, he declares the task to be impossible. Daphne is devastated when she overhears… and determined to prove him wrong. Now a vibrant and delectable Daphne has emerged from her shell, and the tables are turned. Will Anthony see that the woman of his dreams has been right there all along?
My Thoughts: This is the first book in the Guilty series.
First off, I disagree with the book synopsis. Anthony’s sister, Viola, really didn’t have anything to do with Daphne’s transformation. I just have to say that up front.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved Daphne’s spirit. Here is an intelligent woman working for a man she is secretly in love with. Until she overhears him describing her as a stick insect on a twig with no feminine appeal who works like a machine. From that point on, she vows not to love him anymore. In fact, she quits her job and tells the man it is because she just does not like him. Being a Duke, Anthony is not used to people talking to him this way and is completely baffled by it. And then he sets out to change her mind. First about the job. Then about him. The end result was a great tale, with him proposing and her rejecting him.
I loved how the relationship between Anthony and Daphne flowed, even if it did seem too convenient. But, I’m a fairly forgiving reader and will overlook almost anything if the story is good enough. And the story was good enough. The development of the friendship between the two characters was done very well and I could hardly put the book down once I started it.
And by the way, probably the best last two pages of a book I’ve read ever. Ever. Really.
Verdict: This was Very Good. I enjoyed Anthony and Daphne very much and am looking forward to reading more in the series soon.