Series: Seductive Scoundrels, # 2
Release Date: October 17, 2018
Theadosia Brentwood is cutting through the cemetery when she comes upon the very drunk and distraught Duke of Sutcliffe. She hasn’t seen Victor in 3 1/2 year, not since he left after his father’s suicide. When she hears his tortured voice asking his father, why? Her compassionate nature compels her to answer him. She approaches and tells him the reason his father killed himself – cancer. Victor is startled by the beauty standing before him, he thanks her for telling him and steals a kiss when she helps him up. Thea has always had a tender for Victor, but he father would never approve (he is the rector of the parish church) and Victor is far above her station. They quickly break apart when they hear voices approaching. Her father and his new curate, Mr. Leadford. To distract her father, she tells him that Victor has offered to donate the funds for the new organ and for choir robes. She looks at Victor, hoping he will not give her away – he doesn’t and asks her father if he will officiate his wedding in August. Thea is crushed, he is betrothed! But when her father asks about his bride, Victor tells him, he hasn’t found her yet! He invites the Brentwoods and Mr. Leadford to dinner and takes his leave.
He sees Thea again the next day and asks her to meet him the next morning. He speaks to his mother and asks her to plan a ball to find a bride. When his father died, his will states that Victor must marry by his 27th birthday or he will lose all the unentailed properties, including Ridgewood Court where his mother resides. He plans to marry and leave his bride with his mother and return to his rakish life in London, he briefly considers Thea as a bride, but is sure she would not agree to that type of marriage.
They meet each day and the longer he spends in her company, the more he wants her, even if that means giving up his wild ways. When her father announces at the dinner party that Thea will be marrying Mr. Leadford, Victor knows that he will never let that happen.
But when the truth comes out, Thea may have no choice and will be forced to choose between her family and her love.
This was a delightful novella, that is well written and perfectly paced. The characters are likable, there are twists and turns, secrets, friendship, passion and a seemingly impossible HEA. The steam level is low, but the love scenes are perfect for the story.
*I am voluntarily reviewing an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me*