Series: Cotswold Confidential, #3
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another excellent installment of the Cotswold Confidential Series!
Mary Nicola Mayfield, known as Nicola to her friends and family has been in the Puddling-on-the-Wold “secret spa” for 2 months, sent there by her family after all other medical avenues had failed. Nicola was a passenger on a train that derailed and hasn’t spoken since. She has been pricked, prodded and examined, but there is no medical reason that she can’t speak. She doesn’t exactly recall the accident and doesn’t want to be a burden to her family, she tries, but the words will not come.
Lord Jonathan Ryder aka Jack is in Puddling because of the same accident, but for different reasons. Jack owned the company that manufactured the part that failed and caused the accident. Jack suffers from depression and is ridden with guilt. He came to Puddling, hoping to find a way to overcome the depression, but he hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone about his reasons for coming.
He meets Nicola on his second day in the village, he is immediately taken with her and plots and plans ways to see her again. The two grow close and Nicola wants Jack to be her lover – but Jack is trying to be honorable and keeps pushing her away – sort of – kisses don’t count, right? When Jack is with Nicola, he feels happy for the first time since the accident and when he kisses her, Nicola makes sounds, something that hasn’t happened in ten long months! When Nicola learns who Jack really is, she is shocked and doesn’t want him to know who she is, fearing it would change the way he treats her.
This is a well written story with a lot of deep emotion, but it never feels dark or angsty, Jack’s antics (especially concerning food) are hilarious and Nicola is the perfect soothing balm for his soul. The book is filled with lighthearted banter, steamy moments, guests sneaking around, secrets, betrayal, a little heartache, a lot of joy and a hero with a passion for peaches.
This is the third book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title. I think this might actually be my favorite in the series so far, but I don’t want to commit to that, since they have all been great and I am sure there are more to come! I would recommend reading the series in order, it is not necessary to enjoy this book, but it will give you more insight on the “secret spa”.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the Publisher*