Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Of all the books in this series, this book is my favorite (to date) and I would give it 10 stars if I could!
Lady Maureen Huxley has been in love with Henry Thorpe, the Earl of Dunston for years and considers him her dearest friend, there was a time when she thought that he might be more than a friend, but Henry made it clear that friendship was all he would offer.
Henry Thorpe has been in love with Maureen for years and would love nothing more than to marry her, he has been dissuading her suitors for years and keeping his true feelings for her hidden. Because Henry loves Maureen, he cannot bring her into his life right now, he has spent years hunting the ruthless villain that murdered his father and he fears that Maureen would become a target if he married her.
Maureen makes a final attempt to declare herself to Henry, but when he tells her he can not be the man she wants, she says goodbye and tells him she must move on with her life.
Henry is beside himself at the prospect of losing his love and frantically tries to find a way to keep her in his life. When Maureen is courted by the Earl of Holstoke, Henry seethes, when Holstoke asks her to marry him, Henry makes a decision and chooses love over his quest for vengeance. Now all he has to do is convince Maureen to forget everything he said before and agree to marry him.
Henry turns over all his information about the villain to Reaver, assures Maureen’s father that he is done with his quest, makes plans to marry Maureen and then hunts down his bride to be. Maureen has decided that she will marry Henry, but wants to turn down Holstoke’s proposal in person before she accepts Henry, she feels that that is the right thing to do, because even though she doesn’t love him, she does like him and would like to continue being friends. Unfortunately, Henry shows up and that plan is shot – he reacts badly to seeing Maureen with Holstoke and it takes a bit of doing to calm him down.
Henry and Maureen marry and on their wedding night all hell breaks loose and Henry becomes a man that Maureen doesn’t recognize. He whisks them away from town and barely speaks to her. It isn’t until they reach Colin and Sarah’s house that Maureen learns the truth of why Henry kept her at arms length for years. When she finds out the entire truth, she is shocked, hurt and very angry.
Henry and Maureen have a long road to reach their HEA, but thankfully, the argument between them regarding Henry’s deception does not drag on and on. They talk and Maureen is very forgiving and Henry is very sincere. But the villain is not done with our lovers and when Henry must return to London to hopefully end this once and for all – an unexpected twist puts Maureen in danger and threatens to destroy their dreams of a life together.
This book is well written, has very likable characters, some laugh out loud moments, some heartbreaking moments, some suspense, steamy love scenes, cameos from Harrison, Jane, Colin and Sarah and a very hard won HEA.
This is the seventh book in the series and it would probably be helpful to the reader to have read at least the second and third books, but the author does give enough backstory to make this enjoyable as a stand alone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by the author.*