Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Searching Hearts #5
Publication Date: 8/7/18
Ellie St. Clair is a new-to-me author who could easily become a favorite. She did a lovely job with what could have been a very dark book. The story was well plotted and well written. Christina, our heroine, is a lovely young woman who is calm, intelligent, mature, and she doesn’t do even one TSTL thing. Daniel, our hero, is a tortured soul who has built walls around his heart and won’t let anybody through – even his family. Daniel is bent on revenge and nothing and nobody will stop him.
The family of Daniel Harrington, the Marquess of Ravenhall is very, very worried about him. For six years he has shut his family out and become a virtual hermit at his country estate and they don’t really understand why. Yes, his fiancé died, but he should be over it by now and getting on with his life. What he hasn’t told them is that she was murdered and he found her body on his threshold. He knows who did it and he has every intention of exacting his revenge on him. That rage and hunger for revenge have consumed him for six long, dark years.
Daniel’s family is so desperate that his father, the Duke of Ware, has decided to take desperate measures. He is going to force his son to marry and the only way to do that is to demand he come to London and then demand he marry. The Duke sends a message demanding Daniel’s return, which Daniel intends to ignore – until he reads the letter from his solicitor saying all of his funds have been frozen. Daniel has absolutely no choice and heads toward London.
Lady Christina Princeton is the daughter of a Marquess, but she has never had a season. Her father just never got around to it. Christina has dreamed of, longed for, a lovely season where she can dance and choose a man to love and cherish for a husband. Her father has always denigrated her by telling her she is too plump, too intellectual, not particularly pretty, etc. yet she is still a confident forthright, steady young woman with a very loving outlook on life.
Christina’s father has now made plans for his life that don’t include Christina, so he’s ready for her to be married and sees no need to go through the trouble of a season. He is, after all, good friends with the Duke of Ware who has a son who needs to be married. So, the two men get together and decide to force a marriage between their two children.
Christina and Daniel don’t have a very auspicious first meeting – you’ll have to read the book to find out about it — but despite Christina’s misgivings, they end up married anyway. I loved watching Christina’s sweet nature, mature attitude and plain-spoken ways gradually chip away at Daniel’s frozen heart. Of course, he fights it every step of the way. What will happen when Daniel finally gets the murderer of his fiancé in his sights? Will he take his vengeance and risk losing Christina or will he do what he can to keep the warm, lovely lady he has come to love?
There is also a small secondary romance with Daniel’s best friend Lord Hudson and Christina’s friend Lady Beatrice. It is sweet, but is definitely in the background and doesn’t impact the larger story. I like Lord Hudson and Beatrice and was glad to see their affection grow. Everyone should have a friend like Lord Hudson in their lives!
The only thing that would have made the book better for me would have been for Christina’s father, the Marquess of Burrton to have something impact his cozy little world. I’d like him to have some sort of punishment for the unforgivable way he treated his daughter. Maybe he could become a laughing stock of the ton or fall off his horse and break his leg – something.
Anyway – a great read and I’ll be looking forward to another one by this new-to-me author.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”