Lady Julia Hazelton is the most dazzling among 1920s England’s bright, young things. But rather than choosing the thrill of wanton adventure like so many of her contemporaries, Julia shocks society with her bold business aspirations. Determined to usher the cursed Worthington estate into a prosperous, modern new era, and thus preserve her beloved late fiancé’s legacy, the willful Julia tackles her wildest, most unexpected adventure in Cal Carstairs, the reluctant new Earl of Worthington.
The unconventional American artist threatens everything Julia seeks to protect while stirring desires she thought had died in the war. For reasons of his own, Cal has designed the ultimate revenge. Rather than see the estate prosper, he intends to destroy it. But their impulsive marriage—one that secures Julia’s plans as well as Cal’s secrets—proves that passion is ambition’s greatest rival. Unless Cal ends his quest to satisfy his darkest vendetta, he stands to ruin his Worthington wife and all her glittering dreams.
REVIEW: Estate of Brideswell Abbey – 1925
Lady Julia Hazelton, age 26, is arguing with her brother, Nigel, the Duke of Langford. Julia is concerned about the widows and their children left by the war who are being turned out of their homes and she wants to help them.
Nigel is married to Zoe, an American heiress, who invested her fortune to make Brideswell Abbey prosperous again. Now, all of Julia’s family wants to see her married. But after the loss of her fiancé, Julia is not keen on marriage. She prefers to use her dowry to help the war widows. However, Nigel refuses to allow her access to the money.
Julia had been engaged to Anthony Carstairs, heir to Worthington Park, but he had been killed at the Somme. When Anthony’s younger brother died in a car accident, the search began for an heir and now he has been found. He is Cal Brody, an American whose father had been cut off from the family when he married a maid. His full name is Calvin (Cal) Urquhart Patrick Carstairs and will now the the 7th Earl of Worthington.
Lady Carstairs of Worthington Park wants her daughter, Diana, to marry the new Earl. Diana and Julia have been lifelong friends and grew up in their neighboring estates.
When Cal arrives, he is not well-dressed but is quite handsome. He brings with him his anger for the family that ousted his father years ago leaving his family to live in squalor. His disdain for the aristocracy is also evident for he begins firing employees in the house to trim what he sees as waste.
When Cal and Julia meet, they are attracted to one another. When she shares her dream of helping the war widows so they can learn to support themselves, he agrees to help her with the plan.
But who is the real Cal? He has secrets that he doesn’t want known. In addition, the disappearance of some young women in the neighborhood resurfaces and Cal and Julia are determined to find out what happened to them.
I found Julia to be a likable character but Cal and his bitterness begins to grate on the reader. But the story itself is quite good with a murder mystery to be solved as well.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b