Series: Rescued from Ruin, #9
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Phineas Brand, the Earl of Holstoke and Lady Eugenia “Genie” Huxley met 6 years ago when Phineas was courting her sister Maureen. When Maureen turned him down and the awful truth about his mother came out, Phineas took his half-sister Hannah and retired to his estate. But now he is back and looking for a wife.
They reunite when Phineas comes into the shop that Genie is working in. Genie created a huge scandal a couple of years ago when she was found in a compromising situation with a footman at ball. She has spent the last two years in the country and has decided that she will learn to be a milliner, so she doesn’t have to be a burden to her family. Phineas is surprised to see her in the shop and is upset that she is working, but Genie ignores his outrage and can’t help but tease him a bit. The interchange is brief, but it costs Genie her position.
They meet again later when he comes to her house to speak to her father about her work and finds her upset and intent on tracking down a co-worker who was dismissed because of her. Phineas is bewildered by her, he is a man who has spent a lifetime repressing his darkness and yet Eugenia seems to be a magnet for the darkness. He doesn’t understand it and certainly doesn’t like it.
When a series of murders similar to those committed by his mother happen, Phineas becomes the prime suspect. He is upset by the murders and wants to help find the true culprit, but Genie with her sweet, impulsive heart tries to help and ends up married to Phineas.
Genie is not the wife Phineas wanted, she makes him a slave to the “darkness” and that will not do, he tries to control it, but ends up hurting Genie with careless words. Genie is a bit of a Pollyanna, she is not easily defeated nor does she wallow in self-pity, she is falling in love with Phineas, but believes he is still in love with Maureen, a belief that is amplified when finally reach his castle. But she is determined to make the best of things and will make him forget Maureen. She seems to be succeeding, until a misunderstanding between them escalates and the murderer pays a call too close to home.
This was such a gripping story, it is well written and fast paced, has a very good mystery, steamy love scenes, delightful characters, some laugh out loud moments, some sweet tender moments, a few terrifying situations, a few twists, some revelations, a lot of hats and finally a very sweet and touching ending. I loved this book and would happily recommend it, I do think this book could be read as a stand alone, but for the best reading experience, I would highly recommend reading Book 7 Confessions of a Dangerous Lord and Book 8 Anything but a Gentleman before embarking on this story.