STORY: Nathan Grey, the Earl of Lindsey, is infamously known as the Libertine of Lindsey for his scandalous ways with women. But when he hears gossip that his estranged wife, Evelyn, is about to be named in The Book of Scandal, he has no choice but to remove her from London to protect her and himself from charges of treason — even if it calls for abduction!
While Evelyn has no legal recourse against the man who broke her heart years ago but is still considered her lord and master, she is no longer the immature girl Nathan married. Her enforced homecoming quickly turns into a battle of wills that tears down her husband’s defenses and lays bare the passion that still burns between them.
Before it is too late, Nathan must confront powerful adversaries as he convinces Evelyn that she is not only his wife, but the one woman he will love for all time.
REVIEW: This was the first book for me to ready by Julia London, and I enjoyed her writing style. It is a second chance story. Adultery is involved. This is not my favorite trope, and cheating is my number one HR sin. Considering all this, the story was well done for me to find it tolerable.
The book starts near the end chronologically. Then it jumps back to various memories to complete the picture. I think this is one of the reasons I found it not as emotionally engaging. However, for purposes of my review, I am going to to start at the beginning.
The parents of Nathan Grey, the Earl of Lindsey, and Evelyn arranged their marriage. It was not a love match. These two married quite young. Nathan was only 21, and Evie 18. Nathan never opened himself up or shared his hidden hobbies and talents with his wife. He would spend weeks out partying with his friends after only a day with Evie. She believed she loved him and had no complaints with his behaviour. After years of marriage, she finally became pregnant and had a son. He was sickly from birth; and when their child was only a year and a half, he succumbed to fever.
Both Nate and Evelyn grieved the loss deeply but separately. They reached out to each other in their own ways but neither could support the other’s needs. Nate ended up getting his emotional support from their female neighbor, and Evelyn had to deal completely alone. She eventually decided she needed to leave their home and relocate herself to London to no longer be surrounded by all the places that triggered thoughts and memories of her beloved son. Nate pushed her away, thinking he never wanted to see her again. Evelyn secretly hoped that her departure would cause Nate to come for her, but he never did. Instead, he spent his time gambling, drinking, and having sex with multiple women. Only years later, when he heard gossip that his estranged wife, Evelyn, was about to be named in The Book of Scandal, did he remove her from London to protect himself from charges of treason.
The time they spend together at their home is when we gain the insight into their past and experience their individual responses to the tragedy. We are able to gain insight into each of their feelings of pain and betrayal. I felt empathy for them both. I forgave Nathan for his infidelity until he found out Evelyn did not have sex with Dunhill but would have. He no longer knew if he could forgive her and build on their marriage. She thought about having sex with one man. He actually had sex with multiple women, yet she was the one who apologized and begged and pleaded for forgiveness and a second chance at their marriage. He never once apologized for cheating on her emotionally with one woman and physically with many others. If not for Nathan’s total selfish and unrepentant attitude, I would have enjoyed the story more.
Mariana for b2b