Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: The Elusive Lords, #2
Release Date: November 16, 2021
When the situation at their uncle’s home in India becomes unbearable, Sania Aaryan takes her younger sister Isha and flees to England, where she hopes to find sanctuary with her cousin Lara, the new Duchess of Wolverton. But when they arrive looking bedraggled, Lara is not home and her butler refuses to believe that they are related to the duchess and turns them out. With no money and near-freezing temperatures, Sania takes matters into her own hands and tries to break in.
The last thing Nicholas “Hawk” Delmore, the Earl of Hawksley expects to see while returning home is someone trying to break into his best friend Wolf’s house! He immediately intervenes and gets yet another shock when the small intruder turns out to be a woman, who threatens him with a dagger and then faints! Hawk takes Sania and Isha to his house and sends a letter to Wolf. He plans to keep them at his house until Wolf returns and either confirms or denies their relationship to his wife. What he doesn’t plan on doing is becoming infatuated with the lovely Indian woman, but that is exactly what happens.
Wolf and Lara return and are overjoyed to see Sania and Isha, they immediately move them into their house and get ready to launch them into society. Hawk tries to distance himself from Sania, sure that she would be better off with another man. Events from his past have convinced him that he doesn’t deserve a wife and children, so while he desires Sania, he goes out of his way to avoid her. It is a good plan, too bad Sania doesn’t agree. She refuses to give up on the attraction that is growing between them and eventually, she succeeds in making Hawk believe that they could have a future. All seems to be going well until their betrothal ball when the past comes calling and Hawk lets his insecurities destroy their chance for HEA. Can he convince Sania to give him another chance to prove his love or was his betrayal too much to overcome?
This was a good story, it was well-written and nicely paced, but some things just didn’t work for me. Things like: not stating when the book was set, I’m guessing late-Georgian, a lot of modern verbiages, title errors, and the villain’s name/title. What I did like is that the author accurately and subtly addressed the prejudices that Lara and Sania faced in society, she makes Hawk work for his forgiveness, she writes some steamyish love scenes, and she included a charming epilogue. Overall, it was a good read, and while I enjoyed the story, it is not one I would read again. This is the second book in the series, but I had not read the first book and had no trouble understanding the relationships in this book.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*