Usually I enjoy Lorraine Heath's novels but this one I simply did not like. The concept was interesting, a titled noble putting himself on the marriage auction block literally and the opening chapter was very witty as hero Michael, Marquess of Flaconridge ticks off each father's assets and liabilities in his head as he waits to see who has the highest bid for his title. In fact I really liked the first chapter and the last three or four. It was everything in between which I disliked.
Part of my problem with this book was that the heroine Kate was so incredibly self centered. She was the darling daughter of really rich American parents hunting for a titled son-in-law. She was most insistent that Michael had to make her happy. She seems to forget that this was the man she chose to marry, and yes, she did have a choice, it wasn't the middle ages, she could have told her parents that she would not bow to their wishes or at least sought out another nobleman. To make sure that he appeased her, she held the purse strings, and held them tightly. It was awful the way Michael had to almost beg her for funds, and it wasn't for gambling or wenching but rather for a noble purpose albeit to her credit Kate did give him the money. She also tosses a few crumbs here and there to let him know he can voice an opinion but she is in charge period.
Michael swallows his pride again and again. Part of this is his own fault for not being open with the heroine but she isn't exactly sharing many secrets either. She protects her feelings by thwarting Michael. She will not sleep with him as he must love her first but she is not required to love him back. She realizes her incredible selfishness very late in the novel. She also has a past which rears its ugly head in the form of a former love.
As stated earlier, the ending is quite good and saves this from being a one star novel. Finally, finally, Kate wises up to her own selfish nature and how she put this man through the ringer but for me Kate's epiphany came way too late.