As I started reading this one, I thought this was going to be something that took me forever to finish. Having just finished the last page, I'm delighted to report that this one caught me by surprise.
This is the story of Alicia Woodley, who lives with her uncle and his family in her ancestral home, Ravenswing Manor, after the death of her father. She loves to nurse sick animals, rescue animals caught in poachers traps and ride her beloved stallion, Fabian. It's as she is rescuing an rabbit caught in a trap that she meets the Nicholas, the Duke of Dorchester (although she doesn't know it's him at the time). She doesn't like his high-handed dictatorial, overbearing attitude and he doesn't like the fact that she doesn't know her "betters" when she seems them and act accordingly.
Nicholas is on his way to Ravenswing Manor to view a stud for a potential partnership with Mr. Woodley, Alicia's uncle. Little does he know the woman vexing him on the side of the road is the "poor relation" to Mr. Woodley until she realizes who Nicholas is and introduces herself. Even as she realizes he's a Duke, she still does not bend to him, which confounds and intrigues Nicholas. This causes Nicholas and his manservant to strike a bet on whether or not Nicholas could bed her while he's there.
So begins the story that suddenly became much, much more. Alicia and Nicholas verbally spar with each other, amusing him to no end, especially since he's trying to avoid the marriage trap Alicia's cousin is hoping he'll fall into.
There's a mystery involved as well, as someone tries to harm Alicia for some unknown reason. Nicholas takes it upon himself, after realizing something fishy is going on with the stud farm, to get to the bottom of it.
This is a historical romance, but let's just say...this romance part of this story took a rather interesting turn from where I envisioned this going when I started the book. YeeHaw!
I ended up really like this one and recommend this as one.