The story of a betrayal that wasn’t. Even so, it still tore two lovers apart for eleven years. On the eve of their wedding, Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed, the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed, in bed with his cousin. Diana, the daughter of a marquess, remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is she was forced to marry Michael’s cousin, Leo, and then spent the next eleven years in hell. When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, Michael and Diana must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses the one of their youth.
Publisher and Release Date: The Wild Rose Press, July 2013
Time and Setting: England, 1818
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars
Review by Vikki
This wonderful story is about a couple, who on the eve of their wedding are torn apart in the cruelest manner imaginable as the result of a deception perpetrated by the hero’s cousin. After an eleven year separation, Michael, Earl of Daventry, discovers that what he has believed since that fateful night is all a lie, and that the woman he had loved, Lady Diana Cavenaugh – now Lady Brantley – may have borne his son.
Daventry sets out to find the boy and discovers him living with his mother in abject poverty in a cottage not fit for the lowliest pig farmer. He meets James and searches for signs that he could be his son. He meets the midnight blue eyes of this young man and realises they are so like his own, it’s as if he is looking in a mirror.
He offers to take Lady Brantley and James to his hunting lodge. At first, Lady Diana refuses, but Michael, using the boy to convince her, gets her to agree. Thus starts the long journey back for these two tortured souls. Can Michael find the woman he loved in this broken shell of a woman? Can Diana learn to trust again after years of abuse?
This is one of the most beautiful love stories I have read in a long time. Ms. Owens has great command of character development and her writing stands above that of most of the authors that I have read recently. Her writing is compelling and filled with incredible emotional tension which builds as the story progresses.
When I read the scene where Michael learns something of which he had no prior knowledge, it moved me to tears, and I don’t cry easily. I have never quoted anything before, but this was so moving I have to share it.
“His eyes filled with tears and he abruptly stood and walked to the window. A strangled sound came from him and then his shoulders slumped and began to shake.”
Michael cried, unashamed, and that is the sign of a true hero.
If it were possible I would give this book a perfect 10, and I recommend it highly. If you want to read a story that will move you deeply this is the one for you.