I first fell in love with both characters in book one. Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, is a rake, a flirt, always getting in trouble and never sleeping alone. We heard a little bit about his "condition" of needing to have someone sleep with him or he just can't sleep but we didn't know the origin of that story. Isn't it always the funny, unabashed heroes that have the most depth? Well that's exactly what you can expect from Lord Payne.
While everyone in town thinks he has his sights set on Diana Highwood, it is actually her sister that has caught and stirred his interest. Minerva is the smart one of her sisters, she never wants to outshine another so long as she is left alone with her rocks. Well, she is very much interested in geology and has found a fascination with some underground caves in Spindle Cove. While her mother decided to extend their stay thinking that Lord Payne might propose to her sister, she's been researching and gathering information about a footprint she's found in one of the caves.
But when she hears from the rumor mill in town that Lord Payne might be proposing to Diana so that he can access the money in his fortune earlier than he was supposed to, she comes to him with a proposition. He can come along with her to a geology simposium so she can present her findings which will earn her 500 guineas. He can keep the money, which will support him until his birthday in London, when he will have access to his fortune. Tempting as this might be to a rake like him (ha!) she doesn't have an easy time of it convincing him but finds himself going anyway.
It helps that he's been attracted to her from the start for unknown reasons. Or maybe just because she is a surprise. They are polar opposites and they bicker and argue at every opportunity. He teases her constantly but she gives it right back. She's so innocent at times where he is concerned. And she reaches a part of him that he doesn't show others easily.
I loved Colin and Minerva together so much I just couldn't put this book down! There was never a dull moment in their adventure to get to Scotland and I was rooting for them the whole time. And there is also a tortured past that our hero has to face head on for his girl that might've brought me close to tears towards the end. If you like your heroines spunky and smart, crazy adventures, funny dialogues and a whole lot of sparks flying then you must read this book!