Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Brides of Belgravia, #2
Release Date: August 21, 2018
This book was nothing like I imagined it would be, the blurb cannot fully prepare the reader for the intense and emotional story contained within this book.
Tessa St. Croix is in trouble, the kind of trouble only a quick marriage can solve. Violated and left pregnant, Tessa and her friends form a plan. The three girls all have reasons to marry quickly, they take out an advert for husbands, offering their dowries as an investment, they all plan to have white marriages and live their own lives. But when Tessa meets Joseph Chance, she wonders if she can go through with her plan to marry him and pass her unborn child off as his. She quickly comes to care for Joseph and wants to marry him and have a real marriage. But guilt and shame weigh on her and in the end, she cannot deceive him.
On their wedding night, she tells him the truth, not of her rape, but of her pregnancy. Joseph is devastated, he had fallen in love with Tessa and thought she loved him too, despite his humble origins. He is angry, hurt and lashes out verbally before leaving her in Belgravia and sailing off to Barbados.
When he returns almost a year later, he has no plans to seek out his wife, until he learns that she has cancelled his docking arrangements. Forced to see her again, he is angry that he is still attracted to her. But this Tessa is not the same woman he left behind. This Tessa is a pale imitation of the woman he thought he loved and he doesn’t understand what changed. He doesn’t want to care about her or be involved with her, but his entire business venture hangs in the balance and she has the solution.
This was a beautiful story, filled with a lot of emotion, yes, there is fear, pain, betrayal and heartbreak but that is tempered by witty banter, tender moments, patience and kindness. Be aware, this book does have certain triggers that may be incredibly upsetting for some readers. But in my opinion, it was handled delicately and the reader is not subjected to the actual rape, only the heroine’s recounting – if this sort of thing upsets you, this book may not be for you. But if you like second chance love stories, wonderful characters, villains who get what they deserve and happy endings – READ THIS BOOK!
This was the second book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand alone title. I happily recommend this book and am looking forward to Sabine and Jon Stoker’s book!!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher.*