This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Love Swept
Released on November 4, 2014
I have a weakness for a wounded, broody, military/ex-military man and it doesn’t matter if he’s a Regency era lord who is now determined toward revenge, but gets sidetracked by the entrancing sister of his former friend come to be his son’s governess. I found this story engaging from cover to cover. The author knows how to delight with humor, heartache and passion during the course of the story.
This is the second book in a trio of stories about three men who were once close friends after having met at school. The tie between each book is loose enough to read them out of order with the earlier couple and the next hero appearing in a few scenes though there will be a few moments when things are a bit confusing because they reference back to something from before.
The story opens with Cecilia Sanford appearing on Viscount Lindenhurst’s doorstep asking to be considered for the position of his son’s governess. Lind is a hardened bitter man with a thing for regiment and order in his home that has made him a bit demanding on his staff making it so that he has gone through a long string of governesses. He’s got a revenge plot in the works against the man, his former friend no less, whom he found with his wife when he returned from war. Lydia died and Lind bares the guilt of that so he won’t hold her accountable for the betrayal, but the man she was with is fair game. He wonders if Cecilia is there to spy out details on that or if her secrets are something else. Either way, he knows that something about her story of why she isn’t married yet or still living under the protection of her brother is a lie. Against his better judgment, he gives her a chance assuming she’ll fail with the boy like all the others. He has no idea how she will sort things and turn his world upside down.
Cecilia has her reasons for desperately needing to find employment under Lind’s roof. He is so austere now that she doesn’t dare tell him the truth that she allowed herself to be seduced by a wicked man or that when in charge of her brother’s daughters that they were kidnapped by foreigners though that worked out fine. She must also never let this new and colder, Lind suspect that she’s had a crush on him, her older brother’s friend, since she was a girl. She must be all business and prove to him and her brother that she can do just fine. An introduction to her new charge shows her that she may have a more difficult time than she thought. Jeremy survived the accident that killed his mother and left him permanently injured, but he also is slow to learn in ways. He is a lonely child who yearns for his father’s attention and Lind hides him away like he hates the very sight of him. Well she would just see about that. Jeremy needed his father and Cecilia wouldn’t succeed with Jeremy with all those rigid rules set up. Lind would just have to heed her demands.
This story had one of my favorite plots. I love those ones where the father is a bit of a martinet and the child/children are in need of help so in swoops a strong, crusading woman to the rescue of both. Now naturally, this story has its own quirks so I wasn’t reading a rehash. Cecilia is far from the usual retiring, virginal governess-type as one can get. She got into trouble because she’s a lusty girl with strong appetites. She takes all the responsibility for that and sets out on her own so that her brother isn’t stuck with her because no man will take a woman like her for a wife when the truth comes out. And Lind’s issues that keep him from engaging in life are a bit convoluted to explain, but they are very real. He went through the trauma of war both on his mind and his body, he returns to difficulties with his marriage and then he loses his wife in an accident leaving him an injured son knowing he failed all around. He’s got a bit of the Edmund Dantes thing going with his living for revenge attitude. He was ripe for a rescue by a very special sort of lady just as he finds that he can be her gallant knight too.
These two are pretty passionate types even though they both try to keep things strictly to the physical. Neither are shy and I found that an interesting thing since it’s a bit different for the Lord of the manor and the governess trope. Normally, I struggle to get into HR stories where the connection is forged through the physical relationship first, but this one was different. I think it was necessary in this case. Lind had to be jolted back to life and Cecilia had to see that her past hadn’t destroyed her for being with another man. Those who like things on the scorchy side will be well pleased with these two.
In the end, it was an enjoyable story. I want to go back for Cecilia’s brother’s story, but I’m curious to see if the author can make me see the final Eton friend as a hero type. He was a bit of a ne’er do well in this one even if he wasn’t quite as bad as Lind thought him.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.