Author: Adele Clee
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: June 11, 2015
Publisher: Adele Clee
He expected to be the topic of scandalous gossip.
He did not expect an intriguing young lady to barge into his home with the intention of saving his wicked soul.
Banished to Boston for causing the death of Lord Banbury, Lucas Dempsey vowed never to set foot on English soil again. But when his brother inherits the viscountcy and pleads for his return, the opportunity to show his contempt and loathing for the Society who turned its back on him proves to be far too enticing to resist.
When the dishonourable Lucas Dempsey steps into the ballroom after a four-year absence, Helena Ecclestone is quick to label the gentleman a murderous rogue. That is until she stumbles upon a secret conversation and feels a moral obligation to see justice done. But while the ladies swoon over his handsome countenance, Helena is determined to look beyond such superficial features, intrigued to find the true character of the gentleman he hides beneath his arrogant façade.
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Four years ago he, was accused of murder, judged by his father, and exiled to America. Now Lucas Dempsey is back, on his brother's request, but he has no intention of playing nice. If the ton is intent on judging him, he's more than willing to provide many different things they can sneer upon. Though his line is apparently, inexplicably to him, drawn at ruining respectable young ladies. Especially a lady like Miss Helen Ecclestone, who appears to see through his facade, has no qualms in speaking her mind, and is determined, despite his protests, to save him. From the men who want him dead, and from himself.
I've learned the hard way that a free book does not equal a good book. This is an exception to that "rule", because I loved every word, every sentence, and every minute spent reading it.
The characters were nicely fleshed out, as far from template as they could be, with the heroine so out of the regency historical romance norm, I wanted to hug her and never let her go, and the hero with his arrogant, haughty facade hiding a sad, lost soul without him trying to hide it from himself, the reader, or the heroine, that I just wanted to whoop from joy.
Helena and Lucas were truly a breath of fresh, mountain air, complete opposites, and yet utterly compatible, since she saw right through him, and brought the true him out in the open, and he actually let her do it. He was putty in her hands, yet she never abused the power she held over him, but treated him as her equal, gave him her trust even though she barely knew him and only expected his trust in return. Was it any wonder they fell in love?
Their romance was sweet and adorable, hot and smoldering, progressing nicely from a grudging mutual respect and sparkling hot attraction through mutual trust to unshakable love that never dimmed the attraction or the passion sparking between them.
The suspense, if we can call it that, took the backseat in this story, providing a good incentive to bring the two of them together, and a lovely guiding hand as they navigated the complexities of their relationship. And although I feel like the big mystery was revealed rather easily, with little to no danger to either party, I didn't feel the lackluster revelation and resolution deterred from the story, since the suspense was just a minor plot element, as the romance and the two leads were the actual backbone of the plot.
Well-written, well-paced, sweet, lovable, sexy, adorable, and very steamy story, with wonderful, three-dimensional, and well-developed characters, a little bit of angst, a smidgen of mystery, a whole lot of brooding, and a boat load of heart and emotion.
I absolutely loved it!