4.5. Tenderly sweet yet funny Cinderella story with a twist, full of lovable characters you just want to hug. Griff was the gruff desirable duke who hid his piercing heartache from the rest of the world, including those closest to him. Forced by his meddling but loving mother to pick a bride from a tavern full of young ladies, he picked the one least likely to succeed at first glance - Pauline. Our slightly klutzy Cinderella heroine came from humble origins, who had learnt to overcome obstacles in her way by never losing sight of her own worth and her dreams. The role of fairy godmother goes to Griff's mother, the current Duchess of Halford, who despite her impeccable regal manners could not suppress her true self - a clucky, soft hearted, compulsive knitter-of-unidentiable-asymmetrical-baby-garments. There were so much heartbreak in their stories, it was easy to empathise with them. Just a matter of taste, but the book could have been better without the incongruous S&M sex scene.