Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Fallen, #2
Release Dare: January 29, 2020
Falling and having to pull herself out of the mud made Lydia Taylor’s first introduction to Alfred Lowe humiliating, but it doesn’t matter, Lydia’s experience with men has not been the best and handsome men such as Alfred are bound to give her nothing but heartache. Bad choices and reckless behavior in her youth, left Lydia ruined and forced to live a lie. But enduring all the pain and heartbreak was worth it because it gave her daughter Annie. She will ignore the handsome teacher and just concentrate on making Annie’s life as good as possible, which means keeping her secrets.
Alfred Lowe has admired Lydia for years, but he has kept his distance, Lydia is lovely and Alfred is nervous around her. But when Annie misses school he feels it is his duty to check on her. He goes to their cottage and finds a very upset Lydia. It is clear she needs a doctor for Annie but can’t afford one, so Alfred intervenes with the local Squire and has a doctor sent. The news is not good, Annie has polio and her prognosis is uncertain. Alfred becomes a pillar of strength for Lydia and soon she is wishing that things could be different.
Alfred has long dreamed of opening a school of his own, but without a rich wife to help him achieve it, a dream is all it will ever be, because he is sure Lydia is the woman he wants to spend his life with and it is painfully clear that she has no money. As he spends more time with Lydia, she slowly begins to trust him and feelings deepen, but she refuses to consider marriage and it isn’t until she shares her darkest secret that he understands why – but there must be a way!
I loved this story, it was a well written, emotional tale that sucked me in from the first page and kept me flipping pages until the last word was read. I loved Alfred, he might be a beta hero, but OMG he is just perfect. Lydia is also wonderful and with everything she has endured, my heart just broke for her. The story has a lot going on, but the focus stays on the budding relationship between Lydia and Alfred, the story is filled with so much emotion, both happy and sad, chickens, a shady land agent, stolen kisses, secrets and finally a very satisfying HEA. If you read “Falling for a Rake” you already met Lydia, Alfred and Annie and if you didn’t you are going to want to read it after you finish this book – the two books are connected, but they can definitely be read as stand-alone titles.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me.*