My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The two very charming and compelling main characters in Paullett Golden’s debut novel have nothing keeping them apart but themselves. Each of them has very good reasons for avoiding love and marriage but they are also lonely and want more from life. Their journey to find their HEA is a lovely one where they have to learn to trust each other and open themselves to love. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and getting to know all of the characters. Each character was fully developed, robust and very relatable. I just knew I’d love aunt Hazel if I met her, she is so funny and caring, but I didn’t care for Charlotte or Drake. However, I understand there is more to Drake than meets the eye, so we’ll find him and maybe Charlotte redeemed in the next book – where they are the main characters. This book is well-plotted and well-delivered – an all-in-all excellent first book.
Lizbeth Trethow and Sebastian Lancaster, Earl of Roddam first meet when each steals away from a crowded ballroom looking for a moment of peace and solitude. Each is intrigued by the other, but since neither is looking for marriage, they know that this will be their only interaction. Neither of them could stop thinking of the other and when Sebastian’s cousin, Drake, Duke of Annick, decides to pursue Lizbeth or Charlotte for his bride, Lizbeth and Sebastian are thrown together more and more.
Lizbeth is a fixer, a healer of souls. She and her mother were very close and spent every day together frolicking on the beach, romping through the fields and delivering food to the workers at her father’s mine. When Lizbeth was seven years old, her mother died in childbirth and her whole world changed. Her happy, loving father withdrew into himself for years after his wife died and Lizbeth basically had the care of her father, the house and her sibling on her small shoulders. Now, she’s treated as a partner by her father and values her independence. She doesn’t have anything against marriage specifically, but she knows there isn’t a man out there who will treat her as an equal once they are married.
Sebastian had a horrible childhood with an abusive, mad father. Sebastian’s mother was sweet and loving to Sebastian, but she died when he was seven and from that point on he was abused both physically and mentally by his father. Those physical and mental scars run very, very deep. He feels unworthy and carries a huge load of guilt with him and he couldn’t possibly tie some poor woman to him for life. Besides, he has absolutely no idea how to love somebody, he’s never seen love and certainly hasn’t felt it. Sebastian is very, very, very slow to trust and very quick to see betrayal whether it is there or not.
Lizabeth is the balm to Sebastian’s wounds, but it comes at a price – he has to be honest with her and tell her all of his secrets. But, if he does, he knows he’ll lose her forever. Will he be able to conquer his demons and trust Lizabeth?
If you’d like to try a delightful new author, I hope you’ll give this one a try.
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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.”