Review: Heart’s Delight by Cheryl Holt

Heart’s Delight by Cheryl Holt
Series: The Lost Lords of Radcliffe (# 1)
Release Date: May 29, 2015
Publisher: Bookbaby
Pages:  310
Source: book provided by the author for review

 

 

Three little lost lords, cast to the winds of fate…

So begins CHERYL HOLT’S breathtaking new trilogy, The Lost Lords of Radcliffe…

MICHAEL SCOTT grew up an orphan on the streets of London. He has no memories of his past, but he’s haunted by terrible dreams and always feels as if he lost something vital and precious along the way. Through cunning and determination, he’s become rich, prosperous, and dangerous. As a brigand and criminal, he knows how to fight and survive any battle. But when he had such a rough beginning as a child, how has he managed to thrive so spectacularly? How can he ever learn the truth?

MAGDALENA WELLS runs a charity mission in London’s worst slums. Although she’s heard many vicious rumors about treacherous, deceitful Michael Scott, when she meets him, she can’t help but fall under his spell. He is the most extraordinary person she’s ever encountered. If ancestry makes the man, how is she to account for his remarkable traits? His drive and accomplishments have propelled him to the highest levels of London society—which is exactly where he seems to belong. How can a ruffian be so brilliant and successful? What is his true history? Can Magdalena help to reveal the secrets he’s always been dying to discover?

 

 

Review: If you like your historical romance novels to have a darker, edgier quality to them, which I most definitely do, then this book will be right up your alley.

I thought the story accurately depicted the way women were treated in this era, no matter if they were gently bred or lived in poverty. Men still controlled every aspect of their lives and they were completely at their mercy. So, when Maggie finds herself the pawn in her sister and brother-in-law’s scheme to prevent losing all they owned, due to gambling debts, she finds herself dealing with ruthless businessman, Michael Scott, a man she has had a few run ins with in the past.  But, the story also depicts how low some women will sink in order to snag a husband and keep themselves from falling into poverty, resorting to  family betrayals,  scheming and backstabbing,  because getting an education and finding work to support and better themselves was not an option.

I loved Maggie’s strong personality, her willingness to pull her own weight and not rely upon others to provide for her, even if it meant she had to live without many creature comforts.  Not only that, she looked out for others and tried to protect them.  I occasionally wondered at her defense of her family when she knew full well how they had behaved in the past. But, I suppose family is family and one’s pride may prevent us from admitting  they are capable of stooping to such levels for money and possessions.

The most poignant part of the story is Micheal’s realization he may have stumbled upon his family after having been orphaned as a boy and separated from his siblings. Growing up in a harsh environment has left Micheal cold, angry, bitter, and at times heartless … until he meets Maggie and she sees past his hardened exterior.

It took me a while to see in Micheal what Maggie did, especially when even HER patience is tested. I understood her frustration and then some, and had serious doubts about this couple, to the point where I began to think forgiveness and understanding was impossible, that there was no way this couple would ever overcome all the obstacles that came between them. But, of course love  proves itself to be the all powerful emotion I cynically thought would lose out in the end.  (Although I think Michael was as surprised by his feelings as I was)

The story is well written, with all the elements a good historical romance should have,  with well drawn characters, and in this case a double happy ever after for Micheal and his true family.

 

Julie