Jonah Armstrong, Earl of Haywood, and the Duke of Hadleigh were best friends until a scandal involving Hadleigh’s fiancée destroyed their friendship. Three years later, Jonah returns from the Crimea as a war hero and London’s most eligible bachelor, setting the gossip afire and fanning Hadleigh’s long-simmering rage into an inferno. Hadleigh has not forgotten his old friend’s betrayal, and now that Jonah has returned, he will take his revenge.
Lady Cecelia Randolph has loved Jonah Armstrong for as long as she can remember. The moment they share a passionate kiss, she dares to hope that he feels the same for her and that his attention is driven by more than his desire to taunt her brother or his desperation for her dowry. It isn’t until Hadleigh’s quest for vengeance nearly destroys her that she realizes that Jonah loves her enough to risk everything to protect her.
REVIEW: April 1855 – London England
Jonah Armstrong, the new Earl of Haywood, is making an appearance at a ball for the first time in three years. He has just returned to town after spending time fighting in the Crimea. Having suffered a saber wound in his side, he still has considerable pain but works to not show it.
Three years ago, Jonah chose to flee town after being accused of being responsible for the death of Melisande Kendall, the fiancé of his former friend, the Duke of Hadleigh. She had run from him, stepped out in front of a carriage and was killed. While truly innocent, Jonah faced such censure from his acquaintances, that leaving was his only option.
The Duke of Hadleigh still mourns Melisande’s death and hates Jonah. When Jonah’s father and brother both passed away, Jonah had so choice but to return to town and take over the family’s home, including the debts that his father and brother had amassed.
Lady Cecelia (Celie) Randolph, the only sister of the Duke of Hadleigh, and her dear friend, Lady Amanda Rayburn are still unmarried and nearly spinsters. They are both content with their statuses as no man has as yet truly captured their hearts. That is true for Amanda but Celie lost her heart years ago to Jonah. She, Jonah and Hadleigh had been childhood friends. Amanda is a very strong young woman who does not hesitate to speak to mind. She and Hadleigh have always disliked one another because he feels her outspokenness is appalling and they clash in their discussions.
When Jonah asks Celie to dance at the ball, she is thrilled to see him again. However, Hadleigh seethes with hatred and does not want Celie to have anything to do with him. Instead, Celie stands up to her brother and insists that he will not tell her whom she can or cannot see. She has tried for a long time to get him to put his hatred and mourning behind him without success.
When Celie does marry, she will have a very dowry that she will take with her. As she and Jonah renew their acquaintance, their love for one another grows. Since Celie knows Jonah has debts, she is content that her dowry be used to make repairs to his family home, Haywood Abbey, so when they actually marry, she will have a lovely home to move into.
When Celie, Amanda, and Hadleigh venture to their home neighboring Haywood Abbey, someone tries to shoot Celie. Who could it be and why? Will the truth come out about Jonah’s innocence in Milasande’s death? Will Celie and Jonah be able to find happiness together? What about Hadleigh? Will he be able to put aside his grief and hatred of Jonah? How does Amanda figure in this story? So many questions with answers that fall together like an intricate jigsaw puzzle.
I really liked this novel. The plot has not only love and romance, but passionate hatred. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Connie for b2b