The story takes place in a fictional country of Pendaran. Nikolai, the prince of Pendaran, a young widower still grieving over the loss of his wife, is required by the custom to be married by a certain time. The bride is chosen for him, the beautiful redhead Shelby Parker. Both she and the prince agree to enter this arrange marriage, for the sake of the custom and for the sake of producing an heir. However, they start with each having their own bedroom. Shelby is attracted to Nikolai, but his heart is still with Yvette, his first wife, so he keeps his distance. Things slowly progress as you would expect them to, with Shelby and Nikolai getting to know each other, becoming closer and eventually falling in love, but it is a long journey. They don't really “fall in love,” it is more like they learn to love each other. At first, Shelby feels lonely and rejected, and she misses her family whom she cannot see very often. Not being of a royal birth, she is also oppressed by the strict requirements of the court life. Not only she needs to learn to be a wife to a man who is not ready to have her as a wife, she also needs to learn to be a princess. When intimacy finally happens and a baby is conceived, Shelby is so confused and unsure about the whole situation that she doesn't tell Nikolai that she is pregnant. She only does that when it is too late to celebrate this new life – after the miscarriage. Nikolai forgives her. At this point, as we learn later, he is no longer in love with the memory of his first wife.
Like I said, the story is rather predictable and the expected happy end is there. Nikolai and Shelby become a loving family.
The review of this Book prepared by Laura Southcombe