Lady Isabella Stirling resides at Bowhill Park in the Scottish countryside. Other than her servants, she is alone. Left by her husband. For months at a time. For five years she has been in a loveless marriage and is basically imprisoned at the estate where she does little more than tend her rose garden. Her betrothal was orchestrated by her brother, Philip, after he had caught her with a lover in the stable on their estate.
One day her cousin, Esme, comes for a visit and makes an outrageous suggestion that Bella needs a lover. A hired lover. Bella does not want this and even though she says no, Esme goes forward and purchases one talented male prostitute, Gideon Rosedale, for her. Bella is a prim and proper English lady and Gideon is this hunky, intelligent guy who just happens to be able to drive her to, um, distraction. Frequently. It's rather amusing to watch Bella go from behaving like an aristocrat to a full fledged seductress. And, Gideon, by the way doesn't run around naked non-stop. He dresses quite well and is seductive and quite imaginative in other regards as well. Swoon.
Although complete opposites, their love blooms. He finds her incredibly beautiful and she finds him fascinating. As their time together comes to a conclusion, Gideon goes back to his life in London. Neither of them can forget each other and at this point in the tale, Isabella, in my opinion, becomes a tad bit too needy for my taste. However, this tale of forbidden love truly kept me held and I stayed up way too late reading it.
I can't say that I was "wowed"" by this read. It takes a lot to wow me anyway. However