Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Rules for the Reckless, #6
Release Date: February 27, 2018
I loved this book, it is a complex story with many layers that converge into an intense and gripping read.
The book opens days after William Devaliant, the Earl of Lockwood aka Liam marries Anna Wallace, the Countess of Forth (in her own right). He is aboard a prison hulk being beaten, he was abducted and traded for another prisoner. Later he realizes who orchestrated his abduction, his cousin Stephen and he vows revenge.
Fast forward 3 years, 8 months – Anna has left Scotland and traveled to London to confront her errant husband, he disappeared on their wedding night and she hasn’t heard from him since. But she learns he is back in England and is spending HER money and sponsoring artists in his London townhouse and she is going to set him straight. She enters the house and there is a party in full swing, she is appalled by his servants and the debauchery going on around her. She finds Liam on a sofa with a courtesan attached to him like a leech. He rises to greet her and tells her to leave. She refuses and tells him to send his “guests” home. Liam is not in good shape, he took some drug to gain oblivion, but it has only made him muddled. He can’t believe Anna is here and needs to send her on her way. She flat out refuses to go and wants answers – answers he is not willing to give.
Anna makes herself at home and takes every opportunity to vent her anger on Liam. She has come to town to settle some business matters and to get answers – so far she has only more questions. Liam is not the young man she married, but she sees glimpses of him. Where has he been and why did he leave her? The next day they talk again and he tells her what happened to him, but she thinks he is lying. She makes accusations that he does not deny and she seethes.
Liam doesn’t want Anna in his home, he has put his plan into motion and she is a complication he doesn’t need. But seeing her again brings back something he thought he lost, feelings, he FEELS for the first time in years and feelings he thought gone forever. And when she demands he give her an heir and lays down her rules, he agrees, but has a rule of his own. The passion between them is white hot, but neither is willing to bend and they wage a major war of wills.
Liam is no longer the young love-struck boy she married, the past four years have changed him, irrevocably. But Anna is no simpering maiden and she stands up to this new callous Liam. And when she learns the truth, Anna will stop at nothing to save Liam.
The story has several flashbacks to their first meeting, their courtship, wedding day and the fight they had before he disappeared. These flashbacks are well placed in the story and give the read a much better understanding of these two people.
This is not a light read, but neither is it overly dark. It is a meaty, stick to your ribs kind of story with two very flawed people finding their way back to each other, it is a story of revenge, acceptance, forgiveness and love. I was hooked from the first page, it is extremely well written and even with flashbacks, it is paced perfectly. There are steamy love scenes, moments of heartbreak and sorrow, moments of horror, great secondary characters (including Julian and Emma), a shocking twist and a very sweet epilogue. This is the sixth book in the series, but it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems. I loved this book and would be happy to recommend it!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*