Margaret Dalrymple, the daughter of the Duke of Parford, is staying at home, posing as her father’s nurse while her brothers are in London. Thanks to Ash’s actions in declaring the marriage between her mother and the duke illegal, she and her brothers are now illegitimate and they have lost any claim to their inheritance. Her brothers are trying to get Parliament to overturn their previous ruling. With her father on his deathbed and Ash staying at the estate, it is her job to watch Ash and find a reason to have the ruling of illegitimacy overturned. She has gone from being the lady of the manor to being one of the servants.
As soon as Ash lays eyes on Margaret, he is infatuated and determined to know her better. She lets him know right away that she wants nothing to do with him. But he slowly builds up her trust in him, letting her know that he thinks she is magnificent and though he wants to kiss her, he will wait for her to give him a kiss on her own. As he works on getting closer to her, he also tries building a better relationship with his brother Mark. Through it all, he gets involved in the estate, learning as much as he can, even though he has a problem; he cannot read. He can make out the words, but understanding them is another matter.
Margaret is beginning to see Ash in a different light. She finally goes to him and gives him the kiss he has been waiting for. One night she finds him with a book open, trying to make sense of it. Unaware of her presence, he becomes frustrated with the book. Seeing her, he admits his secret. Now she is in a dilemma. All she has to do is tell her brother Richard that Ash is illiterate and Parliament, not wanting someone like that in the position of duke, would overturn their decision. With that decision, she would go back to being the lady of the manor and she would be entitled to her inheritance, with no need to depend on anyone else when her father dies. But she has begun to care for Ash. Will she choose her brothers and her inheritance, or are her feelings for Ash so deep that she will put him first and keep his secret to herself? What will he do when he discovers she is the duke’s daughter?
Deliciously sensual, UNVEILED is an unforgettable historical romance that I found nearly impossible to put down. The very talented author Courtney Milan delves into the character’s psyches and gives such wonderful descriptions that they are brought to life right before your eyes. Readers are left with empathy for the characters as their vulnerabilities and foibles are exposed. Margaret had been determined not to like Ash, seeing him as her enemy, but watching him, she observes his imperfect, hardworking and honorable qualities, as well as the love he shows for his brothers, and she cannot help falling in love with him. As if this were not enough, this book has an intriguing plot, charismatic characters, snappy, believable repartee, sizzling love scenes and plenty of love, making it a definite keeper. As I anxiously await Mark’s story, UNCLAIMED, which comes out in October, 2011, be sure to get your own copy of UNVEILED. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Ms. Milan’s previous novels include PROOF BY SEDUCTION and TRIAL BY DESIRE.