Series: Thieves of Winter, #4
Release Date: December 31, 2018
If you have been following the series, you already know Bates and Anna, if not be prepared for a completely different sort of historical romance! This is more of a “below the stairs” romance than your typical historical.
James Bates is the competent, handsome butler of the Earl of Winterbourne. But James is much, much more than he appears. A stupid stunt years ago changed the course of his life and left him with tremendous guilt and the desire to be a better man.
Anna was the lady’s maid to Lady Katherine, but since Katherine’s disappearance, she was lucky enough to stay on as housemaid. Anna harbors a tendre for James, but the older man doesn’t seem to notice she is a woman. Anna hasn’t had an easy life, orphaned at a young age, she was taken in by a woman and given a good life, but when her adopted mother passed, Anna had to go into service. She was lucky to get the position with Lady Katherine and was grateful that she was able to remain after Katherine disappeared. She tries to flirt with James, but he shuts her down. When she finally decides to give up pursuing him, it seems like he finally notices her.
James has secrets, HUGE secrets, he knows Anna is interested in him, just as he is with her, but he doesn’t feel worthy of her – if she ever knew the truth, she would run as far away from him as she could – wouldn’t she?
I throughly enjoyed this book, it is well written and flows perfectly, the chemistry between James and Anna is electric, the secrets are jaw-dropping, the love scenes are warm leaning towards steamy, the secondary characters are wonderful and the ending is spectacular! While I would recommend reading the books in order, I think this book could be read as a stand alone title with no problems.