STORY: It is up to the Emperors of London to protect the throne—without risking their hearts…
Governess Eve Merton would have fallen into serious trouble on her walk home if a handsome stranger had not stopped to help her. But when Mr. Vernon gives her a lift on his horse, he makes no secret of his attraction. As a well brought-up young lady, Eve does her best not to notice, but when he sets about courting her, she knows she’s in trouble. For she has a secret: she is the daughter of a deposed king, which means not only is she without a dowry, but also that her life is in danger…
Little does Eve know that Mr. Vernon has secrets of his own. In truth, his name is Julius, Lord Winterton, and he’s well aware that Eve is the offspring of the Old Pretender. In order to save his sister, he must convince Eve to wed—though he wants nothing to do with love. But as the two grow closer and an attempt is made on Eve’s life, Julius may realize that fighting his heart’s true desire is a battle most pleasurably surrendered…
REVIEW: Julius, Lord Winterton, a.k.a Mr. Julius Vernon, is a widower with a six-year-old daughter named Caroline and a sister named Helena. The girls are currently staying with his mother. She has been imploring him to get a companion for Helena and keeps reminding him that he also needs to get remarried to one of the women that she has chosen for him. His mother is also threatening to use Helena as an unpaid companion. It angers Julius for his mother to try and manipulate him.
Currently, he is on a secret mission to find the legitimate children of the Old Pretender and provide them safety. One of the people he seeks is Miss Eve Merton, who is has been raised as the daughter of the late Reverend and Mrs. Merton of Appleton. He decides to visit his brother, Alex, for a few days and search for Eve at the same time. Riding his horse on his journey, he happens upon a young lady who has twisted her ankle while walking along the road he is traveling. He assures her that is a trustworthy man, so she agrees to ride on his horse with him to her destination. He is delighted to find that she is the Eve Merton whom he seeks. Upon arrival in town, Julius ensures that Eve is safe in her home. He then decides to stay at an inn in town under the name of Mr. Vernon.
When he meets with his brother, he shares his mission with him. He also shares that he thinks there is a spy in town and they have to flush him out.
As Julius is quite taken with the lovely Eve, he calls upon her and her mother. He enjoys walking and talking with her. Eve feels that at the age of 27, and a woman with no dowry, her prospects for marriage are behind her and she prepares herself to be a spinster. Even though Mrs. Merton has told her the truth about her background, Eve doesn’t believe it.
Julius calls upon Eve but finds he has competition in that other men are interested in her. Realizing she will have to marry someone, she thinks she should accept an offer from Sir Henry although she doesn’t care for him. When Eve and Julius are discovered kissing, Julius immediately announces that they are betrothed. Yet things are not rosy for them as they both face enemies that need to be identified and conquered.
The story was OK for me but it tended to drag in parts.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b