STORY: Ross Bennett, Marquess of Rainforth, hadn’t come to St. Stephen’s Hollow because he wanted friends. He’d turned his back on Society—just as they’d turned their backs on him. Now St. Stephen’s was his sanctuary. But anonymity was short-lived. The mistress with whom he’d parted amicably five years earlier had borne him a child, a child he hadn’t known existed. And that child had been put into the orphanage his grandfather had endowed on the estate.
Ross fought his desire to go to the child, though he desperately wanted to rescue the boy from growing up in an orphanage or never knowing a father’s love. But he stopped himself. What child would want a father who was a murderer? Especially one who’d killed his own father and destroyed the family name? But when an opportunity came to catch a ring of smugglers bringing opium into London, Ross seized it. How could he refuse? The request came from the highest halls of government – from the Queen herself. Success in his mission was his only chance to restore his self-respect…and his good name.
Josephine Foley discovered a family’s love when the Earl of Clythebrooke and his Countess took her from the orphanage and brought her into their home. Now, many years later, she has never abandoned the children of Sacred Heart. Without her efforts, none of the children would have adequate food and clothing to face the harsh coastal winters. Like she herself, many of the children were the unwanted offspring of nobility who had no use for a child born out of wedlock.
But now, one of her children was being threatened. The Marquess of Rainforth, an infamous rake in Society, was looking for little Charlie. There was no way she would allow him to draw her Charlie into the sordid, wasted lifestyle he was reported to live.
True, one less orphan to feed would be a blessing, but that wasn’t a consideration as long as Captain Levy continued to smuggle in the food and clothing they needed. And then one night, Rainforth revealed to her the truth, that in addition to her children’s supplies, Levy was smuggling in opium, illegal trafficking to which she’d been an unknowing accomplice.
The irony was not lost on Josie. The more she discovered about the Marquess of Rainforth and the kind of man he truly was, the closer she came to losing her heart.
And the closer she came to losing her heart, the closer she came to being hanged.
REVIEW: First, I’d love to know who wrote this book blurb. I mean, talk about long! This book blurb doesn’t just wet your appetite, it basically tells you the story. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was well written By reading it, I knew the story had to be either that good or even better. And it was. Much better, that is, so I’m not going to waste your time in explaining the story but tell you why you must get it and read it.
This author is a master at characterization and her characters are three-dimensional, flawed and deep. Her plots are well thought out and the pace is just perfect because it gives one to enjoy the slow-building, slow burning relationship and romance between the leads.
If you’ve read the first book, you’re probably going to read this one as well. But if you’ve never read this author, this is an excellent story to start with. Don’t worry about not reading the first book. All three stories can be read as stand-alones.
I really loved it and highly recommend it!
Melanie for b2b