I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I was very surprised and honoured to find that I am also thanked in the book! Very, very exciting. You’ll have to read it to find out why, hehe.
But there are many more reasons why I love this book…
The first is that it is another sequel, so another sister in the Armstrong sisters family – though you don’t need to read the others to read this book. You might find it does add to your enjoyment. There is one more sister to go now, Cordelia, for those that are following.
Next, and most importantly, is this is totally not your average Regency romance novel. It is for a start much, much darker. It is a tale of a marriage gone very wrong, a thwarted love affair – and is in a sense told backwards through some flashbacks throughout. I got used to those, but I must say didn’t enjoy them as much which is what contributed to my final grading of the story as a whole of 41/2 stars and very nearly a 5.
The hero and heroine in the story are Caroline Armstrong, but when we meet her Lady Caroline Rider, and Sebastian the Marquis of Ardhallow. Through the flashbacks we get to know them both and their love affair that develops when they are much younger. Of course, at that time it is doomed to fail, and when we catch up with them both Caroline has left her husband and is living a very scandalous life – even going so far as to take opium which threatens her life. Sebastian is attempting to destroy his own life by becoming known as a womaniser and gambler and refusing to settle or associate with his father.
A muddle all round really – so how will this end well you might ask? Well that’s a very long story – and a very good reason to read this one. Not only does it deal with scandal, but within it the natural complexities of falling in love (again) and deciding what best to do with your life – if you can’t have who you want. Caroline cannot be divorced, and Sebastian must marry to continue his family line. The bleak scenes at Sebastian’s family home really get this point home to you with his own mother’s experiences. But the resulting healing brings with it a chance for the future. When Sebastian confronts his past and Caroline finally deals with her husband a solution presents itself…
The only small things I didn’t like were the many flashbacks and how the huge problem keeping the hero and heroine apart was only dealt with via a letter in the epilogue – I felt this deserved more. Having said that, this is a very, very good book.
Do I sense further thawing in Bella the girls’ stepmother? And will Lord Armstrong finally be brought down a few pegs? Come on Cordelia, don’t disappoint me!
A copy of this review can also be found on my Goodreads page.
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