Series: The Survivors #6
Publication Date: 9/3/19
Number of Pages: 249
The Survivors are the twelve remaining members of a suicide squad formed to help defeat Napoleon at any cost. Eighteen members of that squad didn’t return and those who did have vowed to assure they aren’t forgotten. They also still protect each other.
Phineas Leopold Duncombe (Phin) is, unexpectedly, the ninth Duke of Mayne. He should never have been a duke. He never wanted to be a duke. He still doesn’t want to be a duke but knows he has no choice. Although the mantle chaffs a bit, he fully intends to do his duty to the estate and his tenants. Phin had four older brothers, there was certainly no reason for him to suspect that he’d ever be a duke – but here he is. This dukedom is doomed – cursed – because each of his brothers died because of some stupid, totally preventable accident. His sisters seem to be the only safe ones – he has two of those – one who hasn’t made her come out and one who is married with two daughters and a son.
Annabel, Lady Longstowe, was married off at barely eighteen to a cold, cruel man who was old enough to be her grandfather. He abused her in every way possible until he finally did her the favor of dying. After all of those years of sexual, mental and physical abuse, she didn’t know what to do with herself and made a couple of mistakes in the friends she chose. Even though she wasn’t promiscuous or wanton, she earned the nickname – the Wanton Widow and was ostracized from society. If she goes out, women avoid her and gossip about her while the men ogle her. One of the cruelest things her husband ever did to her was taking her baby daughter away and not telling her what he’d done with her. Annabel has looked for the baby – who would now be twenty – for years and has been totally unsuccessful. She needs help – powerful help.
Phin’s brother Richard died only a few weeks ago and he’s still trying to come to grips with it. He’d spent weeks shadowing Richard trying to keep him from suffering a freak accident like his other brothers – the one night he wasn’t there – the unthinkable happened. Phin is floundering a bit and decides to go to the home of the Wanton Widow to see what happened on his brother’s last night alive. At least, that is what he told himself when he showed up at her door. She quickly put him in his place and he left with his tail between his legs assuming he’d never see or hear from her again.
Annabel quickly realizes that the powerful help she needs might have just walked out her door. She decides that she’ll approach him, offer him anything – including herself if he’ll help her find her daughter.
I loved Phin. He is one of the most honorable, loving, sweetest heroes I read in a while. I also liked Annabel and could feel her pain. As a bonus, we also get an additional romance that is lovely.
I could have easily said this was a 5-star book had it not been for the glaring inaccuracy that the villain/plot was based upon. The sad thing is – it could so easily have been fixed with just five minutes worth of research. There is absolutely no way that Phin’s title could have been inherited by the one mentioned in the story.
It is definitely a good read – lighthearted, romantic, exciting – I enjoyed the story.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.