Series: Highland Grooms, #5
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Catriona “Cat” MacKenzie is mourning the loss of her beloved Aunt Zelda when a representative of the crown arrives and informs her father that the abbey Zelda used to house homeless women and children is being seized by the crown. Zelda was accused of treason for sheltering rebels after the battle of Culloden and therefore the abbey is being forfeited to England. Cat is furious, she had planned on continuing her aunt’s work and will not accept the loss of the abbey. Her mother suggests going to visit her uncle Knox, the Earl of Norwood, he knows everyone and might be able to help her.
Hamlin Graham, the Duke of Montrose is a murderer, if gossip is to be believed. Cat is fascinated by the tale of his marriage and the disappearance of his wife and decides to learn the truth. She doesn’t really believe he killed his wife, but the woman is missing, so something happened! She meets Hamlin and his delightful ward Eula when they pay a call to invite him to dine. Hamlin is taken aback by this vivacious woman, she is lovely and very bold, a combination that he is unwillingly drawn to.
Hamlin is basically an outcast, everyone believes he killed his wife Glenna, who was universally adored, but only a couple of people know the truth about her and her disappearance. Hamlin desperately wants to gain a seat in the House of Lords, a feat that seems almost impossible with the rumors of murder floating around. So when he is invited to dinner, his secretary insists that he attend, he needs to convince the voting members of the house, that he should be voted in. He reluctantly goes and is mesmerized by Cat – she is incredible!
They end up spending more and more time together and finally become lovers. Both know that theirs is not a happily ever after love story. He can’t marry someone with her tainted background if he wants to get a seat in the Lords and she has the abbey to manage. But neither can seem to walk away. They are so happy together and they begin to contemplate how they can stay together and what they are willing to give up for their love, when the truth of Hamlin’s first marriage comes roaring into his life.
Both Cat and Hamlin are heartbroken, but there is no way they can be together without hurting someone. They part and in a surprising moment of compassion, Cat makes an offer that will ensure they are never together, but will guarantee him a seat in the Lords. Hamlin is overwhelmed by Cat’s generosity and vows that she will never regret him – he will spend the rest of his life making sure she doesn’t.
I really enjoyed this book, but it will rip your heart out and stomp on it – it is entertaining, steamy, witty and heartbreaking. The love between Hamlin and Cat is a beautiful soulmate type love and your heart will break right along with theirs, the secondary characters are delightful, especially Hamlin’s ward Eula, the ending is completely breathtaking and sigh worthy! And if that was not enough, there is a wonderful epilogue as well as very informative Author notes and a glossary! While this is the fifth book in the series, but it can absolutely be read as a stand-alone title and I am happy to recommend it.
*REVIEWED FOR BURIED UNDER ROMANCE*