Series: Westcott, #7
Release Date: November 05, 2019
If you have been following the Westcott series, you know that at the end of Someone to Honor, Lady Matilda Westcott – Abigail’s maiden aunt, goes to see Charles Sawyer, Viscount Dirkson and asks him to help Gilbert get custody of his daughter. In that book, it is clear to the reader that Charles and Matilda share a past and did not part on the best of terms, but the reader is never enlightened about what transpired and when.
Lady Matilda acts as caregiver/companion to her mother, the dowager Countess of Riverdale, she is fifty-six and has never married, but that doesn’t mean she was never in love or never wanted to marry, truth is, she was in love and wanted to marry Charles Sawyer, but her parents forbid the match and Matilda sent him away. Looking back, she believes it was the right choice, Charles went on to father an illegitimate child (Gilbert) and became a renowned rake, even after he married and sired 3 children. Matilda will admit to herself that she never stopped loving Charles, but wonders if he ever really loved her. It took all her courage to seek him out to help Abigail’s husband Gilbert and talking to him stirred up old feelings she has tried hard to bury. She was sure the worst was over, but now she has been invited to a family dinner honoring him for his assistance.
Charles doesn’t want to go to dinner any more than Matilda wants him there, but a small part of him needs to know why he has never forgotten her and why she is the only woman he has ever loved. At dinner he is annoyed about how she is treated by her mother and how her family largely ignores her, he tries to talk to her, but she brushes him off. Later when some of the young adult children want to visit Kew Gardens, Charles volunteers to chaperon and asks Matilda to help.
She goes to the gardens and is assaulted by memories of her courtship with Charles, later at the top of pagoda, he kisses her – just like he did 36 years ago. Thus begins a sweet courtship of two people who made mistakes years ago and are lucky enough to be granted a second chance at love.
This was a very sweet read, no real conflict, no drama and no villains, just two older people recapturing a love they shared 36 years ago. It is short, but well written and paced nicely, the love scenes are limited to kisses and the “courtship” does move rather quickly, but I felt considering their shared past, it was believable and I was rooting for their HEA.
This is the seventh book in the series, but it can easily be a stand-alone, however, if you read Someone to Honor – you will definitely want to read this book too, because it will answer the lingering questions you might have had at the end of that story. Either way, it is a very sweet read and I am happy to recommend it.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*