Series: Manor Secrets of a Victorian Household #2
Publication Date: 11/28/19
Number of Pages: 368
This is the second book in a four-book collaboration series. Each book is written by a different author and features a different member of the Fairclough family. Lilian Fairclough, a widowed mother of three – Lottie, Amelia, and Silas – has continued to run the charitable foundation for indigent and needy women since her husband died ten years ago. The foundation is floundering and they may soon find themselves homeless. The first book in the series, Miss Lottie’s Christmas Protector by Sophia James, released November 1st and the next two will be following soon after this one.
Ten years ago, when her father died, the spontaneous, fun-loving Millie Fairclough ceased to exist and was replaced by prim, proper, staid, responsible Amelia Fairclough. She felt responsible for protecting the legacy her father left behind. She’s lovely, self-sacrificing and caring, but has no clue about the effect she has on others.
Amelia and her mother are visiting relatives when she has a bad experience at a gathering given by one of the local gentry. She’s never comfortable in those social situations and when she just needed to get out of the room for a while, the coach that was supposed to deliver her back to her relative’s house left her. Well, a walk home in the cold will just help to cool down her temper – at least until the temperature plummets and the snow starts. When she is near freezing, lost, and just can’t go any further, she sees smoke coming from a chimney and seeks sanctuary at the cottage.
Cassius Whitlock, Marquess of Falconmore, is a haunted man. He’s home from the wars in India and Afghanistan – scarred on the inside. His best friend died while he was saving Cassius’ life and then his cousin (close as a brother) died in an accident and left him a title he never wanted. Sometimes he just has to escape it all. One cold, blustery, snowy winter evening he was at his refuge when he heard a knocking on the door.
Cassius angrily jerks open the door to the cottage, expecting to see his cousin-in-law, when the lovelies snowman he’s ever seen stumbles in the door. They have no choice but to spend the night together in the cottage without the benefit of a chaperone. They spend the evening talking and sharing things they’ve told no one else. Early the next morning, she leaves and walks back to her relative’s home. They’ll never see each other again – except – someone saw her leaving and knew who was staying in the cottage – and they spread the rumor. Now, it is either marry or be ruined.
Millie and Cassius are both in need of love and support and somehow, they manage to give that to each other. It was lovely to watch them heal and find their happily ever.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.