Release Date: August 25, 2017
Maybe 3.5 stars.
This was an interesting and unusual story, Juliana Stevenson and her sister Emily are on the run from their evil uncle, convinced he murdered their father and is now trying to sell them into marriage to steal their dowries. Their plan for escape is foiled when Juliana is captured by Nicholas Blackstone. Before he could get Emily, Juliana spooked the horses, giving Emily enough time to get away. She then detains Nicholas by running into the ocean.
Nicholas needs money, he has been in the army for years, but since the death of his father, he has returned home to find his father lost the family fortune and left him with two young siblings and a crumbling manor to take care of. Desperate for funds to repair his home and care for his siblings, so he can return to the army, Nicholas accepts a job to track down the missing Stevenson girls. He doesn’t believe Juliana’s story about her uncle and just wants finish this job, get paid and return to the army.
Both Juliana and Nicholas have scars, both inside and out, and they butt heads constantly, but beneath it all, there is a strong attraction that neither wants to acknowledge. Once Nicholas realizes that he will not be able to track Emily, he decides to take Juliana back to his home and then find Emily. But Juliana has no intention of making it easy for him.
Once they return to the manor, Nicholas informs Juliana that she will be his twin siblings new governess. The twins are as thrilled about this pronouncement as Juliana is, which is to say, not at all and this makes for quite a few amusing scenes. Juliana is still planning on escaping, but her attraction to Nicholas is growing and she needs to make him understand how evil her uncle really is. Not only that, but it seems like someone is out to kill Nicholas and his family.
The story is fast paced with a lot of twists and turns as well as multiple villains, the author does a good job of setting up her story and keeping it flowing, but at times the writing seems a bit jumbled, especially during fight scenes. The sexual tension between Nicholas and Juliana is high and the author doesn’t tease the reader by dragging their attraction out, she writes some steamy love scenes for these two, but she does not make their HEA easy or painless.
I thought this was a good story, but the writing was not quite as smooth as I would have liked and there was more than a little bit of modern verbiage used, which jarred me out of the period. I would be willing to read more from this author and look forward to watching her as she grows and matures into a seasoned writer.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*