Garath Melbourne, sixth Marquess of Blackbourne, returns from Waterloo to properties in disrepair and to assume guardianship of his dead friend’s son. Blackbourne is prepared for anything—especially for the chance to finally face the conniving widow who drove his friend to the battlefield to escape her machinations. What he is not prepared for is a woman of surpassing beauty who is the exact opposite of what he expected. Blackbourne swears to make her pay for her past sins…in his bed.For fear of losing her son, Amanda, Countess of Willowvale, has no choice but to succumb to the wishes of her late husband’s friend, Lord Blackbourne. But Amanda is fighting more than the legality of her circumstances. Vowing never to involve herself with another carousing, gambling and irresponsible man of the ton, she’s dismayed to discover the marquess irresistible. Love is not an option…but perhaps taking on a lover is.
Review: From the very first chapter of this book, I was engaged. Blackbourne, a marquess set on honoring a dying soldiers wish, makes his way to Sussex to find the Countess of Willowvale. Now widowed, but with a son, heir to the earldom.
His job proves difficult when the woman wasn’t to be found on her own estate, rather, she was living behind it. Her reasons being that she wanted to raise her son away from servants so he could have a normal childhood and be without the influence of the gentry.
But things hit a snag in Amanda’s plan when Blackbourne not only discovers her whereabouts but gives her an ultimatum. Because he is now the legal guardian of the boy, he has instructed Amanda that the boy will now have a tutor (the scenes with the tutor were hilarious, by the way), and that if she cares at all about her boy’s reputation, she will high tail it to London and re enter society.
Blackbourne struggles with the woman the dead earl described Amanda to be as, and the beautiful one who is not only mild mannered but kind and generous. He believes her to be manipulative, when really, she is just a good person.
As the story continues on, we discover the tangle of lies regarding Amanda as well as her son.
There is a secondary story as Blackbourne struggles with his feelings of rejection over his mother leaving him at a young age. Again, to say anything would be spoiling the surprise.
All in all it was a beautifully written regency romance that left me smiling. Everything was tied up neatly in the end, and the writing was good enough to make me want to read more books from this author.
It was a clean read with no sex, and minor language.