Characters with problems fascinate me. I mean real problems that affect the quality of their lives. Ross Forster, the hero of The Virgin of Clan Sinclair, is one of those people.
He grew up in the shadow of his father’s behavior. Ever since then Ross went out of his way to avoid any hint of scandal or being talked about, especially since he was standing as Representative Peer in Parliament. At that time Scotland was only allowed eighteen peers in the House of Lords.
When Ross first met Ellice the most important thing in his life was the election.
Ellice first confounded him. Then she confused him. One moment she was scandalous. The next she was timid. Just who was Ellice Traylor? His thoughts at dinner one night:
From time to time he looked at Ellice. Other than that one panicked glance she ignored him, evidently interested in the flooring beneath her feet, her own nails, or her mother’s whispered comments. He suspected that the dowager countess was giving her instructions. Sit up straight, girl. Smile more. Can you add nothing to the conversation? He’d been witness to enough of those mother-daughter moments to identify one when he saw it. What he couldn’t understand was where Ellice had gone. The girl who sat on the settee in front of the window wasn’t the same one who hid in his carriage, pulled his head down for a kiss, or was a partner to seduction in the parlor. Nor was she the author of the most erotic book he’d ever read. He’d never known anyone who could transform herself so completely. The girl with the winsome smile was gone, becoming a gray shadow whose personality had vanished. He suspected the Dowager Countess was the reason for Ellice’s metamorphosis and wondered how adept she was at erecting a shell around herself. He had the oddest wish to tease her, or goad her until he saw the girl in his carriage again.
Little did he know that she would change everything. Don’t you just love when that happens?