This is the 3rd book in the Brides of Fortune trilogy. There's a lot going on so I hope this review makes sense!
Lady Elizabeth Scarlet (Lizzie) has always been a free spirit. Her mother was an alcoholic who left when she was a child, and her father died, leaving her in the custody of her two brothers. One brother, Sir Montague, is the squire of Fortune's Folly. No one in the village likes him, including Elizabeth, due to his greediness - he's enacted several more medival taxes since the Dame's tax from book one to milk his villagers of their money. Her other brother, Tom, is a worthless lout who has already dishonored one of her friends by getting her pregnant and leaving her to face the consequences alone.
Lizzie has strong feelings for Nat Waterhouse, one of her brother's friends that she has been very close to since childhood. Nat is getting married to an heiress because he desperately needs her dowry money. Lizzie knows he will be miserable and she plans to stop him before he makes a huge mistake. She sends for him to meet her the night before his wedding, intending to lock him in until after the wedding. Her plans go awry, however, and they end up having sex! Both parties are distressed once they realize what they've done and Lizzie runs away. Lizzie decides pretending it never happened is the best course of action, Nat wants to talk about it. She avoids him like the plague but keeps running into him in social situations.
Then, her brother Montague is murdered and the next night Tom has a very indecent party in their home, and Nat ends up rescuing Lizzie. The spend the night together and know that physically they are amazing together. Nat tells her she has no one else and must marry him and she agrees, although she is upset Nat doesn't love her like she loves him.
She does not know her brother Tom is blackmailing Nat with information about his sister. This is the only part of the book I had a problem with - Nat is a law enforcement officer of some sort. He should know better. But, he feels he must keep his sister's reputation safe, as well as provide for his mother. AND, he feels responsible for ruining Lizzie and wants to marry her to save her reputation as well as receive her rather large dowry so he can pay for Tom's silence.
Nat and Lizzie marry and it is a disaster from the start - neither one behaves well, and Nat's indifference and Lizzie's drinking and acting out become a problem. They have no communication between them, only great sex, and Lizzie decides that's not enough. She decides she wants Nat to woo her. Then, she overhears a conversation that causes her to run away again, not knowing the true story.
This story was good. The characters from the first two books were part of the story. The only thing I didn't like, as I mentioned before, was the blackmail plot, but it was integral to the storyline. Lizzie's character was pretty consistent as far as her actions and reactions to the various goings-on in the book. I can tell you this book had a lot of things going on at once - murder, sex, blackmail, jealousy, alcoholism, a naked horseback ride through a club. Yes, you read that right, a naked horseback ride through a club. I enjoyed this story, I'm sorry it's the last in the trilogy.