Series: Dashing Widows, #7
Release Date: February 28, 2018
I cannot imagine how hard this book was to write, because it was hard to read!
Hugh Rutherford, Baron Garson has decided it is time to marry and he has the perfect bride in mind, his childhood friend Lady Jane Norris. Jane has spent the last ten years caring for her father and the estate, now that her father has passed and her cousin has inherited, she is trying to decide what to do with the rest of her life. Needless to say, Jane is more than a little surprised when Hugh comes and proposes a marriage of convenience.
Hugh was the heartbroken betrothed of Morwenna Nash from the previous book, Catching Captain Nash. Morwenna was the love of Hugh’s life and he is convinced that he will never love another. He wants a family and needs an heir, so he proposes marriage to Jane, he likes her and believes that they can have a good life together, as long as she understands that he can never love her. With limited options, Jane decides to accept Hugh’s offer, but from the start, Morwenna is a like a ghost between them.
Hugh and Jane marry and get to know each other as adults, Hugh is delighted with Jane and is a bit surprised by the desire he feels for her, he is very sweet to her and doesn’t press her, he takes his time and seduces her, one kiss at a time. Jane can’t seem to get past his love for Morwenna and begins to obsess about her. When Hugh suggests they go to London, she is nervous and dreads meeting his friends as they are close to Morwenna. I thought this was really well done and very realistic, Jane is insecure and shy and feels like everyone will view her as Hugh’s second choice. But she is surprised to find herself welcomed by his friends and soon starts to blossom.
But Jane does what she promised she wouldn’t, she falls in love with her husband and is heartbroken when he makes it clear that he cannot and will not return that love. Jane will have to decide if she can live with the man she loves knowing he loves another. And Hugh will have to decide if he is willing to fight to keep his wife by his side or let her go and try and find happiness elsewhere.
This was not a light, fluffy read, it is filled with angst, unrequited love, longing and heartache. But it is tempered by an incredible heroine, a lot of steamy love scenes, cameos from previous characters, a hero who is a little slow on the uptake, a really, really good groveling scene and a epilogue that brought me to tears! It is well written, but personally it was a little bit too “angsty” and I think this would have been better as a novella. But it was a very engrossing read and I found myself incredibly invested in the outcome, it is the seventh book in the series and could be read as a stand alone, but I would recommend reading Charming Sir Charles and Catching Captain Nash first to get a little more background on Hugh and his “love” Morwenna Nash.