Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #6
Publication Date: 2/25/20
Number of Pages: 368
I am so delighted to have finally gotten to know Devan Farris better. We’ve met him before, and frankly, I was confused by him. Was he a good guy or a – well – not bad guy but … Anyway, now we know. This is a well written, well-plotted story with very likable characters – some of whom we’ve met in other books. I even loved that the villain was duly punished!
Avalon and Devlin are prime examples of why you shouldn’t believe what you hear. Each has a reputation that doesn’t match the real person at all. In one case it was a carefully crafted reputation and in the other case, it was a reputation created by others to be hurtful. In the end, both are equally hurtful.
Devan is the gentlest, sweetest man you could meet and you would never know that from his terrible reputation – the Wicked Vicar. You know that there are alpha heroes and beta heroes – well – I’m thinking that Devan might come in as a gamma or delta hero. No, he isn’t a doormat, he isn’t a coward, he is just a very, very sweet and giving man who puts others before himself. He is the Bishop’s favorite vicar to move around to troubled parishes because he is so good at straightening them out. Everybody is charmed by him and he quickly becomes a cornerstone of whatever parish he is sent to. Except, when he is sent to Thistledown, the patroness doesn’t want him and blatantly asks him what it would take to make him go away.
Lady Avalon Pearce, Marchioness of Warwyck was forced into a marriage she didn’t want. Her husband was cruel, dismissive, and cold, but he gave her the greatest gift she’d ever gotten – her son, Thane. Then he had the good grace to die and leave her a widow. Though he still managed to mistreat her even from the grave, she was free of him and managed to build a good life for herself and Thane. Thistledown was hers. They were her people and she’d see to their welfare. They’d welcomed her when she had been abandoned by all who should have loved and protected her – and now she was doing all she could to assure their welfare. She doesn’t want the new vicar in her parish – he is too handsome, too charming, and she just knows he was sent by her son’s guardian to spy on her because he wants an excuse to take her son away. She’ll pay the vicar off, offer whatever she has to in order to get him to leave.
Since Devan has no intention of leaving – and he was sent by her son’s guardian – Lady Avalon is fighting a losing battle. Devan isn’t really spying, he refused to do that, but he is assessing Thane’s academic readiness, as well as acting as a tutor to Thane. All of that throws Devan and Avalon together more and more often. They have known each other for years and have bickered for years – now, that bickering turns to teasing and endearments. When push comes to shove, Avalon is the one to stand up and defend Devan when he needs it.
I loved how their relationship developed slowly over time – actually over all of the years they’ve known each other. Neither is what the other thought they were and it was a delight to see them come to realize that. I thought the book was a bit slow at times and it was easy to allow my attention to wander. I also got a little tired of Avalon’s back-and-forth and I thought Devan was a bit too soft and submissive, but I still thought it was an enjoyable read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own