Michael Hepburn never thought to marry but with his older brother's untimely death he'll have to take his place as the Marquess of Longhaven. Marriage to his brother's intended comes with its own complications. While Julianne is beautiful she's also been betrothed to his brother since they were infants and knew each other quite well and he's certain she felt a certain affection for him. There's also the little issue of his newly acquired injury that will be impossible to hide and might impede him from bedding her. He certainly can't tell her about his cloak and dagger activities, can he?
Julianne Sutton has always known she'd marry the Marquess of Longhaven. She just thought she would be marrying the more personable Harry rather than Michael who's always struck her as distant and unfeeling. With Harry she had some semblance of an idea that their marriage would be comfortable if not altogether familiar but with Michael she has no idea what to expect. While the Sutton and Hepburn families are pleased to be joined by this marriage, Julianne and Michael are merely acting on a sense of duty - one that could result in abject misery for them both or if they're very lucky they could fall in love.
Michael's busy finding a way to balance his duties as a husband, Marquess and the mystery behind the recent attacks being made on him which leaves him very little time to actually spend getting to know his new bride. He's so focused on protecting her from the dangers associated with his former life he's completely unaware that Julianne has a secret of her own. Michael visits Julianne's bedroom each night and there's no doubt that their bedroom activities are a most pleasurable diversion but Julianne longs to get to know her husband better. Perhaps if she ever saw him fully clothed they could actually have a meaningful conversation, but Michael's always gone during daylight hours. Of course, that does mean that her own activities go undetected by him as well - that is, when she can escape the prying eyes of the servants he insist accompany her everywhere. Their marriage may have started out as nothing more than a sense of duty but as Michael and Julianne begin to get to know each other they discover that falling in love with each other isn't out of the picture - in fact, it might have already happened.
Emma Wildes' newest addition to her NOTORIOUS BACHELORS series, HIS SINFUL SECRET, is witty, fast paced, full of memorable characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing at what might happen next. There's chemistry between Julianne and Michael that practically leaps off the pages and has you eagerly anticipating each scene they're together. They're both harboring secrets and I was more than a little surprised when the secrets were divulged and even more so at how they're directly related to each other. Like all Emma Wildes' novels this story is told with passion, compassion and enough suspense that you just can't stop reading. I'd love to see several other of the characters from this story in future novels so hopefully there will be more NOTORIOUS BACHELORS in the future.
Other titles in the NOTORIOUS BACHELORS series (so far) are:
MY LORD SCANDAL
OUR WICKED MISTAKE
Chrissy Dionne (courtesy of Romance Junkies)