‘Portrait of a Forbidden Lady’ by Kathleen Bittner Roth

poafl kbrSTORY: Lady Georgiana Cressington is living a nightmare. Coerced by her father into returning to her childhood home, the young widow becomes a pawn in another of his heartless games. Her return to Summerfield Hall reunites her with the man she once loved before their hearts were shattered by a devastating betrayal.

Sir Robert Garreck, an artist knighted by the queen, lives in a mansion near the family estate Georgiana’s father won in a crooked card game. Rob sets out to regain Summerfield Hall to keep Georgiana’s son from inheriting Rob’s rightful home. However, when he and Georgiana are thrown together, he craves the forbidden lady he never stopped loving. Facing danger and a long-hidden truth, Georgiana and Rob try to claim the powerful love hey once had.

REVIEW: Kent England – 1859

Sir Robert (Rob) Garreck prefers country living and his quiet bachelorhood. After fighting in the Crimean war, he returned to Kent and built a lavish home. He lives fairly simply spending his days painting and working with metals…and drinking.

Rob’s home is adjacent to his cousin and neighbor, Viscount Eastleigh. They are all part of the large Malvern family. Their grandmother, known as Mum, is an outlandish woman who fancies herself the Queen Mother and her daughter the Queen. Mum is always brewing some potent alcoholic drinks that she enjoys and lavishly shares.

The widowed Georgiana (Georgie) Blakeslee, Lady Cressington, is traveling with her ailing father to Summerfield Hall nearby the Malvern families’ homes. An extremely demanding man, Georgie must tend to his constant demands or he threatens to disinherit her and her son, Lucas. Forced by her father to marry a much older man, now deceased, her life consists of caring for and catering to her father who is slowly dying.

Having grown up at Summerfield Hall, Georgie has not been there for sixteen years, when at age 15, she was caught in bed with Rob. Her father grabbed her up, took her away and made her marry Lord Cressington, an evil man.

Seeing that Georgie has returned, Eastleigh’s sister, Lady Williamette (Will) Malvern, who had been good friends with Georgie when they were young, asks her to join them for tea. Will is unmarried and relishes her freedom to do as she wishes. Georgie agrees to attend.

When Georgie and Rob see one another again after all that time, Rob is rude to her. He feels that she should have fought and stood up to her father so they could have been together. Rob’s father had killed himself after which his mother went insane. It turns out that his father had been ruined by Georgie’s evil father, Ecclestone.

Lucas has been in Italy taking painting lessons and is due to arrive at Summerfield Hall soon. He is the only person that his grandfather loves. The man keeps constant tabs on Georgie via another evil cohort called Briggs. Georgie wants to spend time with the Malvern family and get to know Rob again, but she has a difficult time getting away from the house. She is also hiding a secret from Rob that she eventually wants to share with him.

A painting that Rob has worked on for a long time is one of Georgie that he calls portrait of a forbidden lady. Will George ever see it?

What is the secret that Georgie carries? Will she be able to continue to cater to her father’s demands and vileness toward her? What about Rob and Georgie? Can they get back together again?

An interesting story with some well-developed characters. I’m sure others will enjoy the book as much as I did.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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