BOOK BLURB: Constable Will Danbury has infiltrated a school to investigate an alleged crime. What he finds is a deeper, darker mystery—and a potent attraction to the alluring headmistress, Jacqueline Trouvère. But a constable can’t get romantically involved with a suspect; even one he thinks is innocent, without committing career suicide.
As headmistress of a school devoted to saving the innocent daughters of London’s soiled doves, Jacqueline’s life is complicated. Will tempts her in ways she never thought to experience, but she believes no respectable gentleman could love a former courtesan.
Despite their best efforts to fight it, a romance blossoms. When danger jeopardizes the school, however, his deceptions and her omissions come to light, threatening to destroy their love. They must look beyond the past to save both their future together and the lives of those they’ve sworn to protect.
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Will barely stopped himself from exclaiming in shock at the sight of the pale, puckered scar circling Trouvère’s wrist. He looked away before she could catch him staring at it. Now he knew why instead of the tight elbow-length sleeves currently in fashion, hers went all the way to her wrists before ending in a froth of lace.
My God… Had she done it to herself? He risked another glance. No. It wasn’t the sort of mark left by a blade; it was the sort of scarring left by rope rubbing and cutting into flesh. Horror warred with curiosity. How had she come by such a terrible wound? Did she have a matching one on the other wrist? He’d seen such marks before in his line of work, and they usually came in pairs. Those who bore them had almost always been held prisoner at some point and struggled against their bonds. From the layered look of the scar, she’d done so for an extended period of time.
Thoughts tumbled over one another in a melee of suspicion, accusation, and speculation. She was French. Had she fled incarceration in France and settled in England to escape justice? Was Trouvère really her name? What was a woman with scars like that doing running a school?
She has suffered. The thought evoked a queer sensation of heaviness inside him, as if a weight had settled on his chest. Whatever the origin of that scar, she’d endured great pain in the making of it.
Who put it there? He longed to ask, but the way she snatched her hands back and drew them down out of sight behind her desk made him suspect she wouldn’t want to discuss it. One after another, questions popped up in his mind like mushrooms after arain.
Who is she, really?
REVIEW: There are so many authors out there that I’m trying to get to and if you’re like me, you’re always getting sidetracked because all of my favorite authors keep me busy by writing new books. Well, this author has been on my radar for a very long time and I’m so glad to have found the time to “squeeze” her in.
This is the second book in Once Wicked series (and my first read of the author and the series, but I found it could be read as a stand alone) and the title says it all. These are the stories of people that once-a-upon a time were wicked and now are trying to rectify that.
I don’t know where to start in praising this story. I loved everything about it, from the pace to dialogue; from a plot that kept me glued to the story, to the setting of Georgian era, but it’s the complex characters of our hero and heroine that touched my heart which made this story soar.
Both characters carried deep scars and wounds, visible and invisible, that at times I found myself tearing up. Following their story and watching them grow stronger in their love despite the obstacles they faced was pure bliss.
If you’re a sucker, like myself, for a scared hero and heroine, this is a no brainer. You must read it. Just be warned. This will take you on an emotional roller-coaster!
Now, off I go to read the first book in this series…..
Book #1 To Love a Libertine
Book #2 Once a Courtesan
Melanie for b2b
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Liana lives in Texas with her own dashing hero of nearly twenty years, their delightful progeny, one spoiled-rotten feline overlord, and several tanks of tropical fish. She’s been devouring historical romances since her early teens and is now delighted to be writing them for fellow enthusiasts.
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