Series: Rebellious Desires, #2
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Daphne Collins and Sylvester Wentworth, The Earl of Carrington met when he saved her and her dog from a near drowning, he takes her back to his home and they talk, he is enchanted with her and she with him. Once she is home she asks her father about him and learns that he is an earl. Her father Viscount Blagrove then does the unthinkable, he blackmails Sylvester into marrying her.
For six years Sylvester has ignored his wife and she is unhappy, she learned on her wedding night that he was blackmailed into marrying her, but has no idea what her father held over him or why he believes she was party to the blackmail – but after six long, lonely years, she is done. She knows she cannot divorce him, so she plans to force him to divorce her. She then imagines she will travel and maybe one day re-marry. She has been faithful to her vows, despite being left alone and at the mercy of the ton’s rakes and gossipmongers. Viscount Redgrave has been pursuing her for the past year and tries in earnest to have her become his lover. But Daphne will not break her vows, she tells Redgrave that she plans to make Sylvester divorce her and Redgrave warns her that he will not be able to marry a divorcee – she doesn’t care – she needs to be free. She loved Sylvester when they married and still does, but she can no longer live with his distain and barely leashed anger.
Sylvester is back in England after spending time in Jamaica where his is actively trying to free slaves and enforce the crowns law regarding slavery – he is passionate about this cause and has made enemies – enemies that have tried on more than one occasion to kill him. After barely surviving the last attack, he decides to go home, make peace with Daphne and get himself an heir. So when he learns from his man of business that Daphne has a lover, he is enraged. He confronts her and doesn’t believe her when she insists she has been faithful. Then she informs him that she wants a divorce – he refuses and makes a counter offer – give him 8 weeks to woo her and if at the end of that time she is still unhappy, he will petition for a divorce (a promise he has no intention of keeping).
She reluctantly agrees, but refuses to allow him in her bed. He agrees and plans to seduce her into staying with him. But when old threats, secrets, doubts and mistrust come calling, can these two come together and find their HEA?
I thought the writing was great and I liked both Sylvester (great name!) and Daphne, but I had a really hard time wrapping my head around Daphne wanting a divorce – because she is unhappy in her cold marriage? Because she is lonely? Because she wants to be free? None of these reasons made sense to me – as a divorcee she would be shunned. So being shunned and becoming a social pariah is better than having a loveless marriage where your husband ignores you but gives you a huge allowance and pretty much doesn’t care what you do with your time? There were also some inconsistencies in the plot that baffled me and I am still not sure if the threats to Sylvester were all done by the same person. Overall, I thought the previous book was much better, but I am not sorry I read this book and would recommend it. It is the second book in the series and while Georgiana and Rhys make an appearance in this book, it could easily be read as a stand alone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*