Series: The Shelley Sisters #2
Publication Date: 3/4/20
Anne’s story is finally here! We met all of the Shelley sisters in the first book, A Reluctant Bride, and, well, I couldn’t decide if I liked Anne or not. That was probably because she was the catalyst for the featured romance, but not the feature of the story. The Shelley sisters are triplets – identical to everyone – and everyone tends to treat them as one entity. Yet, they are very different. Anne is the wild one, the ‘free spirit’ who acts first and thinks later. Juliana is the calm, even-keeled, responsible ‘fixer’, who runs the household. Thomasina is the pleaser, the one who brings peace and comfort to others – even at the cost of her own. Their father is a real piece-of-work who could care less about his daughters other than to consider how they can best benefit him.
This book begins at the same time and place as the first book in the series, but while that book followed Thomasina and Jasper, this one follows Anne and Rook. At the beginning of the first book, Anne runs away with Ellis Maitland – but, then she seems to disappear with another man. Now, we learn what happened when she ran away, why she ran away, and what has happened to her since.
Ellis Maitland is a desperate man – and when he gets desperate, he gets reckless and bad things tend to happen. A very, very, very bad man, Winston Leonard, wants the property that Ellis and his friend, Jasper’s late brother Solomon, stole from him. The thing is, Ellis has absolutely no idea where it is or how to find it. Ellis decided to use Anne in order to put pressure on Jasper – after all, if she was important to Jasper, he’d meet Ellis’ demands. The trouble was, Jasper had no clue what Ellis was talking about and Anne wasn’t all that important to him. If she wanted to run away with someone else, she could.
When Ellis hands Anne off into a rowboat with someone named Rook, she is frightened, but resigned – then frightened again when she finds out where they are going. Anne has never really been physically attracted to anyone before, but something about the dark and attractive man makes her skin warm and her stomach flutter.
Constantine (Rook) Maitland broke ties with his cousin Ellis over a year ago and hasn’t had anything to do with him since then. The break was caused by an awful set of circumstances Ellis became involved in that crossed all of the lines for Rook. Ellis had always been Rook’s hero – he’d save him when he was a young child. Ellis took him in and taught him how to survive – but – now…
Rook and Anne are each attracted to the other, but neither will act on it and they are fairly cool and stand-offish with each other. When Anne finally comes to the realization that Ellis will not be coming for her, nor will he marry her, she asks Rook to see that she gets home. Their journey to their HEA is fraught with danger – after all, there is still a villain out there. The action really picks up at the end of their journey with everything happening fast and furious. Will Anne survive? Will Rook admit that he loves her? Will her sisters forgive her? Will Jasper forgive her? Will Rook and Ellis reconcile? Will they finally thwart the villain? You’ll just have to read this fun book to find out all of that and more!
I assume that the next book is going to feature Ellis and Juliana and I have to say, I think this author is going to have to go some to rehabilitate Ellis in my mind. There have been things to make him more sympathetic, but – well – we can only wait for the next exciting installment!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.