Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Imperfect Lords #3
Publication Date: 5/28/19
Number of Pages: 240
**** 4.5 Stars ****
I loved that this book had a unique storyline with a truly heroic hero and a heroine who is the definition of a strong, resilient, intelligent woman. We learn the hero’s secret right from the beginning and for that time period, it is really a huge issue. That is a time where the slightest affliction caused one to be shut away – either on a country estate or in an asylum – or more dire consequences. That was a real threat and I appreciated how the author showed the consequences of a problem that today we don’t even think twice about. The heroine’s secrets are revealed more slowly throughout the book, so don’t get impatient (as I did). I liked that the information came out in increments rather than in one big ‘reveal’ moment toward the end. Truly, this is a unique story and I enjoyed it. *** BTW – there is more than one romance in this book and the minor romance is sweet too.
I don’t know who wrote the book blurb, but to me, the part about the heroine isn’t anywhere near the view I got as I read the book. I know that it would be hard to write the heroine’s part of the blurb without giving away plot points but – well – I just thought it was way off base.
The opening scene of the book is great. It takes our hero, Guy Neville, from the ecstasy of his mistress’s arms, to rejection, to total abject fear and grief. The descriptions of his reactions are perfect – you absolutely feel his fear and his deep, deep grief as he learns that his brother has unexpectedly died – and now he is the new Earl of Argyle.
His father’s stupid, idiot son was now the earl. The boy who could not read or write, the boy his father had beaten until he was almost unconscious on several occasions, but that still did not make Guy able to read or write . . . was now the Earl of Argyle
Guy has been most fortunate in his choice of friends. Kit was his batman during the wars and he helped keep Guy’s secrets. Guy was a brilliant tactician, but he could neither read nor write and Kit took care of all of that for him. When Guy was severely wounded (almost died) and had to leave the military, Kit came with him. They protected each other in war – and now they protect each other in the civilian world.
Abigail Pinehurst arrived at the Argyle estate a bit over a year after Guy had inherited. Before he died, Guy’s brother had granted permission for her to search the estate for the rare Ghost Orchid so she could draw/paint it for her benefactor. You’ll love the scene where Guy first meets Abigail.
Abigail has huge secrets – painful secrets – that could ruin her and her sister, Dora. She cannot allow those secrets to come out – even if it means being a spy for the despicable Mr. Patrick Neville – cousin to Guy. She’ll do all she can to wriggle away from Patrick, but she’s pretty sure there is no way to do that.
The book is fast-paced and filled with threats and danger. I loved that once Abigail realized how honorable and trustworthy Guy was, she decided to trust him and never went back on that. So many heroines are written to be wishy-washy and Abigail wasn’t that way. Good move by the author.
I thought the resolution was a little too quick and too pat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a blood-thirsty wench and loved what happened, it just seemed too quick and out-of-the-blue. I also had a bit of an issue with the disparity between the status of the hero and the heroine and it was not believable. It is implausible even in today’s world, so I definitely have trouble buying it in the Regency world.
What was also so very clear was that the differences in their stations didn’t matter to him. He was not perfect, he was damaged.
I definitely recommend this book because there are so many things to love about it. The hero is what all heroes should be – as is the heroine. I liked that both of them had been through so much, but neither was bitter nor had they lost the ability to love or trust. They were both stronger for what they endured as children and adults. Definitely, a must read.
From the Author’s Note: Here’s to love, the most commanding four-letter word in the world, and the power it has to heal.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.