Disinherited by her stepbrother because she refuses to marry as he wishes, Lady Adel Fitzhugh needs a miracle. When a storm drives a coach of travelers to their door, her miracle arrives in the form of Captain Liam O’Shea. Captain O’Shea is taking his motherless young daughter to live with the nuns during his five-year deployment to India. Adel seizes the opportunity to begin a new life, offering her services as governess.
Liam accepts Adel’s offer on the condition she raise the child at his family estate in Ireland. Fearing that if he dies in battle his daughter will be at the mercy of profiteers, he also proposes a marriage of convenience. If he returns, Adel will be free to file for an annulment and return to England. She agrees but has no idea the task will require all her strength and determination once she reaches his ruined castle and becomes “the O’Shea” to his people. And what if she wants to stay?
Publisher and Release Date: Wild Rose Press, February 2014
Time and setting: 19th century Victorian England & Ireland
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Vikki
Lady Adel Fitzhugh needs a miracle after she finds out that her dowry is gone and that if she doesn’t marry Baron Wishingham, a grossly corpulent much older widower known for his ravishment of young girls, she will be homeless. She tells her stepbrother she would rather go to a nunnery than marry such a repugnant old man.
When a violent storm forces a close childhood friend, Lieutenant Robert Beck and his traveling companion to her doorstep, Lady Adel meets Captain Liam O’Shea and his very young daughter. Upon finding out that the captain is on his way to India for a five year deployment after he has left his daughter to the care of a convent, Adel immediately offers to become Mary Kathryn’s governess. This is her way out and she’s determined to take it.
Captain O’Shea accepts her offer on the condition that she raise his daughter on his estate in Ireland and that she marry him in name only. If he isn’t killed in battle, she can get an annulment when he returns. Little does she know that she will have to pull on all her reserves when she arrives in Ireland and is faced with the daunting task of restoring his burned out estate and becoming ‘the O’Shea’ to his people.
As the years go by, Adel and Liam fall in love through their letters to each other. When she receives word that Liam is missing, she believes all is lost. Then she finds out that Liam is alive, but has lost his leg and is tormented by the devastating images of war. Can their budding love survive, or will Liam send her away rather than place his trust and his life into her keeping?
I thoroughly enjoyed this incredibly moving story of a courageous woman who returns a crumbling down estate to its former glory while raising her young stepdaughter on her own. She is feisty and determined, yet loving and generous, just the kind of heroine I enjoy the most. I fell in love with many of the secondary characters with their witty dialogue and enchanting mannerisms. Ms. Rogers brings to life the glories of the coast of Ireland, and the rolling verdant hills covered with sheep and horses. While much of this story has the hero and heroine separated, that does not slow the pacing down at all. I loved seeing Adel’s character arch grow as she faces her difficulties.
Liam is exactly the kind of hero I most admire, an honorable and caring man. When he returns from the war so battered and tormented, it brought tears to my eyes as he struggles to cope with the devastating loss of his leg and his broken spirit. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a story that shows triumph over adversity and a couple who learn to love each other through it all. It’s one of the best of such stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading in quite some time.