STORY: To escape the memory of a horrific kidnapping that he barely survived, Alexander Linscott, Marquess of Halverston, flees to one of his country estates determined to master his demons. But when Mrs. Daisy Moore arrives on his doorstep applying for the position of housekeeper, he knows his life has taken an unexpected turn. She is clearly not who she pretends to be.
Lady Isobel Culver has no intention of falling in love. She’s on the run and can’t afford to risk giving her heart to anyone, especially a man as tortured as the Marquess of Halverston. But when fate intervenes and brings her to the altar with the murderous villain her father intends for her to marry, Alexander becomes the only man who can save her. If loving her doesn’t cost him his life first.
REVIEW: Lady Isobel Culver of Gilchrist Manor is mourning the death of her maid, Daisy, who has always been like a friend and a mother to her. They had been fleeing to Scotland to avoid a forced marriage for Isobel. Daisy suddenly became ill and died. Isobel arranges to have Daisy buried in the local churchyard and gives her own name as the name of the deceased. She does this so her father, the Earl of Gilchrist, cannot find her. She now assumes her maid’s name: Mrs. Daisy Moore.
After the funeral, Mr. James Holmes, who works for Alexander (Alex) Linscott, the Marques of Halverston, approaches Isobel about a position. The owner of the inn where she is staying suggested her to him. It appears that Temple Hall, home of the Marquess, is in need of a housekeeper and offers her the job. Even though she has never been a housekeeper, she has overseen the running of her father’s homes, so she accepts the position. Mr. Holmes assured her that this is one of the Marquess’s smaller estates with a small staff.
Alex is a man who had been held captive and tortured at one time by a blackguard named Rosenau and left to die. He was deeply affected by this and he needs time to heal and to hopefully stop having nightmares.
When Alex meets and interviews Isobel, he knows she looks familiar and then recognizes her. Alex is shocked that a lady of quality is applying for a housekeeper’s position in his home and demands that she explain why she has run away.
Her father wants her to marry a man she does not love so he can invest in the man’s shipping business. When Isobel told her father that the man he wished to match her with loved her sister instead, he then decided to match Isobel with the Duke of Balsam, a member of the membership-coveted Fortune Club. The man has a vile temper and his first two wives died mysterious deaths.
Isobel further explains to Alex that she wants to stay from from her father for the next three months at which time she will reach her majority and can then be on her own.
Alex agrees and allows her to stay on as his housekeeper and doing a wonderful job. She is very efficient and quickly earns the staff’s admiration. But after being awakened in the middle of the night, she learns about Alex’s nightmares from his valet.
Alex and Isobel enjoy getting to know one another, sharing books and walks on the grounds. But his nightmares continue to plague him. Isobel lives in fear that her father may find her before she reaches her 21st birthday.
This is a delightful story. I liked Alex and Isobel and the other members of the household. There is a lot of suspense in the book that adds to the story. I hope other readers will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
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