Miss Hatch contacted me a few weeks ago to find out if I was interested in reviewing this particular series. She had read my review for Autumn Masquerade which includes one of her novellas, and wanted me to give this a go. I am so glad she did. I enjoyed that novella immensely, and must say this book blew me away, what an excellent Regency read!!!
When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.
Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.
Alicia has been dealt a horrible hand in life. If she does not marry soon, and to someone wealthy, the few remaining members of her family will be thrown into debtor’s prison.
Sadly the suiters her uncle has picked for her are not at all the kind of men she feels she could possible form any kind of connection with.
When she meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, she feels an instant attraction. But he has played a part in the death of her brother, so she refuses to even consider him.
He will not be put off by her utter refusal, and sets into motion a very intricate plan to secure her future, and possibly give her all she is looking for in the process.
I adored this read. Alicia is a very relatable character. When you have a heroine go through such drama, it’s sometimes hard to not develop a whiny or overdramatic persona. Alicia experiences all the grief, doubt, confusion, suspicion and hurt that seems so real to these specific events. Yet Miss Hatch captured all these emotions and kept her heroine likeable, realistic, and very approachable
Cole is strong male lead with a loaded past. He is not just a scandalous womanizer as some would want you to believe. He has this great depth, and a true caring heart. He is set on making sure Alicia is protected, taken care of, and happy. He is a true hero in this book, and had me swooning many, many times. I think he may be my new favorite male lead!
Now, I will admit to a terrible habit I have. When I get sucked into a book, and I see the story is taking a very strange twist, I start to panic. I need to find out and mentally prepare myself for mayor disaster, or heartache that might inevitably follow. So when I got to a certain point in this book I could not believe the turn of events. I had to find out this was going to end well. So I hopped over to the end, and read the last part. It erased my feelings of tension, and I was able to read the rest of the book in peace. If you are like me, don’t panic, this book turns out well for all parties included.
I can’t stress enough the greatness of this book. I was so enthralled in the read, I had Miss Hatch send me the next book in this series. I have a long weekend coming up next week, and I know exactly what I will be reading then! Miss Hatch has definitely got a new fan!
About the Author
Donna Hatch is the award-winning author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series” and is published in sweet Regency romance and fantasy. Her professional memberships include Romance Writers of America (RWA)and American Night Writers Association (ANWA). A sought-after workshop presenter, she juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, not to mention her six children (seven, counting her husband), and still manages to make time to write. A native of Arizona who recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.