Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #6
Publication Date: 6/25/19
Number of Pages: 384
WOW! Color me impressed. While I usually like this author’s books, I don’t love them. This one, however, I loved. I loved the characters; I loved the unusual storyline and I loved the writing. I may be a bit jaded, but I rarely tear up during the emotional scenes in a book – I think that is mostly because – well – it is a romance and I KNOW there will be a happily-ever-after at the end. This book managed to make me tear up and I began to wonder if this might be the one book where there was no HEA.
Lord William (Will) Cavensham comes from a very large, very loving and caring family. His parents, cousin, and siblings all married for love and Will wanted that for himself. Well, he did when he was nineteen and proposed to his cousin (third I think) Lady Avalon. She accepted him – but when he came to her home the next day to formally speak to her and her father, she told him she was betrothed to a marquess and had been for quite some time. That tore Will’s heart from his chest and he began to believe that he wasn’t good enough to find the kind of love the rest of his family has.
Ten years later Will has immersed himself in helping his family run the estates – he is a very busy, but unfulfilled man. He’s even begun to look at his family – not resentfully – but maybe enviously, because they have what he’ll never have. However, he drops everything and rides for four days straight when he receives an urgent message from his much-loved favorite aunt Stella.
Lady Theodora (Thea) Worth is that rarest of things – a female who holds a title in her own right. Well, she is supposed to be anyway. Thea was raised by the most loving of grandfathers, the Duke of Ferr-Colby. Her grandfather held the title of duke, but he also held the separate Scottish title of Earl Eanruig. The Scottish title was not tied to the dukedom but was to be passed down through the marriage lines – male or female. Thea’s grandfather raised her to love the earldom’s estate, Ladykyrk. She learned to run the estate and to care for the people. Then, about seven years ago, her grandfather began to be forgetful, then more forgetful. Thea couldn’t stand the idea that anyone would pity her grandfather or try to put him in an asylum, so she took over the running of both the dukedom and the earldom. She was totally isolated with her grandfather and retained only two servants as she took care of her grandfather herself. By the end of his life, he had no idea who she was and it broke her heart.
When Thea gets word that the distant cousin who inherited the dukedom is also claiming her title she panics. She thought that was all straight and in the process of her being named as the earl. Even worse, the original title grant papers cannot be found no matter how hard they look. With the new duke nipping at her heels, she goes to her grandfather’s friend and neighbor, Lady Stella and pours out her tale. Lady Stella advises her to marry and to look everywhere – again.
When Will breathlessly arrives at his aunt Stella’s, he learns that she didn’t exactly have a dire emergency. What she had was a neighbor in need and she wanted Will to marry the neighbor. Will certainly didn’t intend to wed this woman, but he would at least speak with her.
It was lovely to watch Will and Thea learn to love and trust each other. I was glad it wasn’t an overnight thing as it is in so many novels. Yes, they were immediately attracted to each other, but the love took a while. They were supportive of each other and weathered a lot of storms. With the new duke holding all of the cards, I had begun to wonder how they would come out of it with their HEA, but – they did – and I smiled.
I love books with epilogues and the one in this book was particularly lovely – it even very nicely sets up the next book – Wild, Wild Rake.
I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of the excerpts from the newspaper, The Midnight Cryer, at the beginning of each chapter. First, they were very nasty, but mostly they were too connected to exactly what had transpired to have been realistic. The person providing the information would have had to be right with Will and Thea at every moment for those articles to have been written. No big deal – I just didn’t care for them.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.