STORY: When her stepfather suddenly dies, Valeria Segrave finds she must take charge of her grieving mother and the vast estate which now belongs to her six-year-old half brother, the new Earl of Maledon. Though capable, Valeria is frustrated to find each day brings a new struggle as she tries to establish her authority with servants, stewards, and solicitors-all men. As a young woman with no blood relation to the earl, they are all too ready to dismiss her.
Much to her chagrin, she must rely on the assistance of her stepfather’s distant kinsman, Alastair, Lord Hylton. He is handsome and noble, and Valeria senses under the veneer of his gentlemanly behavior that she never measures up to his expectations of a refined lady. In light of that, accepting his help and feeling under a burden of gratitude to him is almost unbearable. Even when Valeria leaves the country estate for the glittering London Season, where she gets into a series of escapades, Lord Hylton is always there to witness, criticize, and correct her behavior. But if Alastair insists on engaging in a battle of wits and wills with the lively Valeria, she’ll stop at nothing to prove that he’s met his match
REVIEW: Valeria Segrave is the daughter of the late Baron Guy Segrave and the stepdaughter of the Earl of Maledon. The Earl is a heavy drinking man who disgraces his wife by openly chasing after loose women. The Earl has a son, St. John, with Valeria’s mother. When the Earl dies suddenly, her mother is devastated. In his will, he leaves only a small portion to his wife and the rest to his 6-year-old son and heir, St. John. Sadly, the Earl had secretly taken Valeria’s monies left to her from her father and used it for himself. As the Earl had spent heavily and foolishly, Valeria and a family friend, Lord Alastair Hylton, assume the responsibility of overseeing the inheritance for St. John.
As Valeria is now 20-years-old and has never had a season in London, her mother decides that it is time for her to get her chance and they all journey there and take up residence in the Maledon London home. Known for being an outspoken, yet somewhat unworldly young woman, Valeria finds herself always at odds with Alastair who takes it upon himself to keep an eye on her and criticizes her should she do or say something improper. The animosity that Valeria feels toward Alastair continues to grow and she decides to escape convention and attend a masked ball which is certainly a place she should never have been. Unfortunately, Alastair is at the ball, recognizes her and immediately takes her home in shame. Her remorse at having over-stepped her bounds makes her physically ill. Her shame at the scolding Alastair gives her only makes her feel worse. When she finally realizes her growing attraction to him, she feels that she has lost any chance she may have had with him.
Will they be able to work out their differences and get past her indiscretions?
This is the first book that I have read by Lynn Morris and I look forward to searching out more of her books. The meticulous descriptions of life in Regency England are a wonderful lesson in itself. I thought I already knew a lot about the period, but she took the education even further. The story was a truly good one with a slight religious undertone. But, be sure to sit down and absorb each and every description in this book. It is a wonderful resource.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher