(Lost Lords of Pembrook, #2.5)
Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)
A Lost Lords of Pembrook Novella
Christmas is a time for miracles … and second chances at love.
In her dazzling first Season, Lady Meredith Hargreaves gave her heart to Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn, only to have it shattered when he proposed to another. And now that he’s free to pursue her? It matters little, because she’s on her way to the altar, heartbreak be damned.
Chetwyn once set aside his dreams in favor of duty and honor. But as Christmas approaches, he is determined to put his own desires first and lure Lady Meredith back into his arms, where she’s always belonged.
First he steals a dance; then he steals a kiss. But when they find themselves alone in an abandoned castle during a snowstorm, reignited passion consumes them both. And Chetwyn will have one last chance to steal back Meredith’s heart, once and for all.
This novella is the third book in Lorraine Heath’s excellent Lost Lords of Pembrook series. Whether it is a full length novel or a novella, Ms Heath never fails to captivate me with her stories.
Alistair was a secondary character in Lord of Temptation and I really liked him and hoped he would have his own HEA. He had such a strong sense of honour and duty. He blamed himself for his brother, Walter’s death in the Crimea and felt a deep obligation to fulfil Walter’s last request, to ensure the happiness of his fiancée, Lady Anne Hayworth. Alistair believed that marrying Anne was the best way of ensuring her happiness even though it meant giving up the woman he truly loved, Lady Meredith Hargreaves. Then, when he realised that Anne truly loved Tristan, he was willing to set her free and bear all the humiliation of being jilted. Now he is determined to do everything in his power to win Meredith back.
Hers were the only eyes into which he longed to gaze, hers the only fragrance he yearned to inhale, hers the only voice he wanted whispering near his ear as passion smoldered.
It is not going to be easy persuading the lady of his sincerity and there is one major impediment…she is betrothed to another man.
Meredith (Merry) had almost made the mistake of losing her heart to Alistair until his attentions moved onto someone else. She was deeply hurt but now she has moved on with her life and is engaged to Lord Litton who is without a doubt the man for her. She is determined never to fall under Alistair’s spell again.
…she refused to succumb to his charms once again. She could be distant, pretend indifference, give the impression that he had never been more than a dance partner.
Alistair is resolute in his pursuit of Merry and I love the ruse he uses so that he can dance with her. Merry’s defences begin to crumble when things get rather heated in the billiard room. Who would have thought that Alistair could be so sexy!
It is not until a snow storm forces them to spend the night in the ruined Pembrook castle that they are finally able to admit their true feelings. This leads to a sweet and tender love scene. Once again, Alistair’s actions show what a perfect hero he is. It would be easy for him to be found with Merry, forcing her to marry him, but instead he protects her reputation, giving her the freedom to choose her own course.
To have her, he would have to ruin her, and he loved her far too much for that.
I thought Ms Heath disposed of Litton, the only obstacle remaining to their happiness, in a rather clever and believable way, leaving Merry to follow her heart. As always, Ms Heath left me with a sigh and a happy smile on my face.
You don’t have to wait until Christmas to read this enchanting rekindled love story. Like me read it any time of the year as part of this wonderful series.
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: WARM
Read May 2014