Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Brethren of the Stone #1
Publication Date: 8/30/18
The series premise is: After the death of their parents, six siblings unite around their eldest brother, Stone. They consider blood a binding oath and vow to protect one another. They all must face their own demons as they find love and their places in the world. I’m enjoyed meeting the brothers and sisters and learning more about them – but – I’m sorry that I read book .5 (Taming a Lady Wolfe – NOTE: the title has changed since we published our review) first. That book may be the actual first book in the series, but it is the last book timewise, so while I’m ‘meeting’ them for the first time in this book, I already know their fates. The book is well plotted and well written and I enjoyed the read.
Stone Sinclair is a man of mammoth size who the locals refer to as Fire and Brimstone – which is their ‘polite’ way of referring to him as devil. In addition to his large size, he has a dark brooding visage and a gruff way of speaking. He’s actually a handsome man with a sweet and gentle heart, but others can never get past his size to know who he really is. Both of his parents have just died in a mineshaft collapse while they were trying to save the miners working there. Now, Stone is the new Earl and he just doesn’t feel ready for the task. He hadn’t had enough time with his father, at five and twenty, he had so much left to learn. Now, he has responsibility for his five siblings, the estates, shipping lines, mines – you name it. He just needs some time to grieve for his much-loved parents, but sadly, there just isn’t time for it. Stone fully intends to be a good, generous and caring steward of his people and his holdings.
Eliza McLaren has also just suffered a loss. Her mother passed away a month ago and Eliza blames the lords of the land for her mother’s death. Those lords who take and take and constantly add to their own coffers but don’t give anything back to their people. As far as Eliza is concerned, ALL lords fall into that category and she sorely resents that her father has dragged her from her home and her mourning in order to help one of his biggest clients through their transition period – from one Earl to the next.
The new earl certainly lives up to Eliza’s expectations in the way he looks – and the stories she has heard about him during their trip just cemented her opinion of him. During their first encounter, all Eliza could do was huff and humpf and that just set Stone’s teeth on edge. He certainly had no use for a snippy, judgmental young woman who didn’t even know him, yet had already formed an opinion of him.
It was so entertaining to watch these two strong-willed people match wits with each other and finally come to understand that those initial opinions were wrong. It was also a romantic read and I was delighted to find that both the hero and the heroine were virgins. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.
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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.”