STORY: Miss Sophia Vane, a hoyden of the first order, makes an unlikely match when she weds Nathaniel Ellison, the rich and wary Duke of Scarsdale. What starts with an unexpected friendship soon blooms into a fiery passion.
But a betrayal plunges Sophia into the thorny world of London Society and entangles her in a labyrinth of manipulation and jealousy that will test the strength of her marriage. Behind her husband’s sudden icy facade, Sophia believes dwells the caring, passionate man she loves. To break through the barriers and reclaim their happiness, they must do more than simply cast away their pride. They must fight for their very lives.
REVIEW: London 1820
Nathaniel (Nathan) Ellison, Marquess of Deering and fifth Duke of Scarsdale, is a very wealthy and handsome man. He became Duke when his parents died in a carriage crash 12 years ago. His widowed aunt, Harriet, and his cousin, Hughbert Ellison, live with him. Hughbert (simply known as Ellison) walks with a limp from a carriage accident some years ago where Nathan was driving. Nathan has always felt guilty and Ellison feeds on his guilt.
Sophia Vane, age 19, is a young woman who works for her father, Frank, a drunk and a gambler, at the Breeding Tavern. Her mother died when she was young. In addition, she has a younger brother, Harry, age 8, who was born as the result of a liaison between Frank a barmaid who left Harry on his doorstep right after he was born. Sophia has always cared for and protected Harry from Frank’s rages and viciousness. Many are the times that Frank has beaten her. Sophia has been saving up so she and Harry can run away. Frank has said he is going to sell Harry to be a chimney sweep which terrifies Sophia.
When Nathan stops by the tavern one day looking for a man in the area who sells horses, he sees Sophia being mauled by a man and he rescues her by beating up the man. As Sophia shows him where the man lives, they are accosted by robbers and Nathan is shot. Back at the Tavern, Sophia takes care of him and his wounds. She is puzzled at his refusal to take laudanum for his pain. (There is a reason which readers will learn about.) When Frank steps in unjustly accusing Nathan of seducing his daughter, Nathan proposes to her to save her and Harry. Thus begins their life together.
How will Sophia, a tavern wench, fit into Nathan’s life and become a Duchess? Will she be accepted by his family and the ton? Sophia is a very strong young woman and the story of watching her learn to become a Duchess is great fun.
Without giving out any more spoilers, I think readers will truly enjoy Julie Johnstone’s latest novel.
Connie for b2b
Complimentary copy provided by the author