Simon Hawkins, duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumors and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honor, but when he is called home to investigate his mother’s disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only woman he has ever loved–and the last woman he should desire…
Sarah Osborne has spent her life dreaming of Simon’s touch. But dukes do not long for lady’s maids–or so Sarah believes, until a stolen kiss sparks a passion that could be her ultimate undoing. As the couple begins a forbidden romance, a cunning enemy plots to destroy the duke and everything he loves. Now, caught in a blackmailer’s web, Simon faces an agonizing choice: sacrifice his family’s future or break Sarah’s heart
Publisher and Release Date: Forever, 25 June 2013
Genre: Historical Romance
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars
Review by Vikki
I just finished this marvelous book and had to share my thoughts. Jennifer Haymore has again captured my mind with another spellbinding story set in the Regency period.
The thirteen year old, Simon Hawkins, the Duke of Kent, befriends an eight year old girl, Sarah Osbourne, when she gets tangled up with a blackberry bush. He takes her home to his mother and the duchess allows Sarah to be educated with her children. Through the ensuing years, Simon and Sarah stay friends.
When Simon’s mother, the duchess, turns up missing, Simon turns to Sarah, asking her to accompany his shy sister, Esme, to London to look for the duchess. The sparks fly between Simon and Sarah and their passions cannot be denied, but because of the difference in class, a marriage is not possible, or so Simon and Sarah believe.
Unable to resist each other, they give into their desire and flames ignite, but then Lord Stanley approaches, revealing several deep dark secrets that could destroy Simon’s family. Will Simon turn his back on Sarah and marry Lord Stanley’s daughter, Georgina, or will he be brave enough to stand tall in the face of scandal and declare his love for Sarah?
Jennifer Haymore paints a vivid picture of the hypocrisy of London society, with its flagrant affairs and decadent lifestyle through deeply moving emotional characters. I became so enmeshed in this story that I just couldn’t put it down and when I had to, the story kept running through my mind, keeping me anxious to return to this engrossing and well-written tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book, and I highly recommend this unforgettable story. This will go on my keeper shelf, because I’ll definitely want to return for another visit with these enchanting characters and unique storyline.