Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Those Scandalous Shaws
Publication Date: 8/22/17
Connolly has added a great follow-up series to her ‘The Emperors Of London’ series. This first book in the series is a wonderful lead-in to the series. It is action packed and leaves you wondering where it will head next.
Plots within plots, villains you didn’t expect, twists and turns and lots of passion – it sucks you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the end.
Lord Valentinian Shaw’s reputation exceeds his exploits – although those exploits are many. As one of several sons of a Marquess he is under no pressure to marry and produce an heir, so he’s in no hurry to give up his freedom and marry. He’s restless, unsettled and is constantly moving from adventure to adventure. However, he has been more settled over the last two years because he has found an outlet for his restless spirit – he, his brother, and their cousin have been pursuing financial ventures that are exciting and interesting.
Lady Charlotte Engles has been engaged to Val for two very long years. She suspects he will never be ready to marry and if they do marry, she is sure he won’t be faithful. She NEEDS to marry in order to get out from under her cruel father’s thumb and to provide for her younger sister. When she receives an offer from someone else, someone she feels is infinitely suitable, she asks Val if he would please release her from their engagement.
When Lady Charlotte asks Val to release her from their engagement, it unexpectedly leads to a kiss and a budding desire to keep her. However, he does reluctantly agree. Then, he gets to know her better and better and finds he is beginning to love her. He’ll live up to his agreement though – as long as the new suitor is worthy.
Val and his twin brother Darius begin to investigate and they find that the suitor isn’t just unworthy, he’s unsavory and debauched to the highest degree. Val cannot let Charlotte marry this man, but he cannot tell her the truth either. So, he does the only thing he can do – he refuses to end the marriage contract and doesn’t give her an explanation.
I won’t provide a blow-by-blow description of the entire plot, but you should know that it is a wonderful, exciting read and you will love watching Val and Charlotte find love and understanding. Val grows and matures so much through this book that you will hardly recognize him at the end. Coming to know all of the abuse Charlotte and her sisters have had to live with throughout their lives will keep you in tears.
The last twenty percent of the book will have you on pins and needles. I won’t describe it, but to tell you that it is suspenseful and gut-wrenching is putting it lightly.
“I requested and received this book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”