(Scandalous Seasons, #3)
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Geoffrey Winters, Viscount Redbrooke was not always the hard, unrelenting lord driven by propriety. After a tragic mistake, he resolved to honor his responsibility to the Redbrooke line and live a life, free of scandal. Knowing his duty is to wed a proper, respectable English miss, he selects Lady Beatrice Dennington, daughter of the Duke of Somerset, the perfect woman for him. Until he meets Miss Abigail Stone…
To distance herself from a personal scandal, Abigail Stone flees America to visit her uncle, the Duke of Somerset. She finds herself helplessly intrigued by the hard, too-proper Geoffrey. With his strict appreciation for decorum and order, he is nothing like the man she’s always dreamed of.
Abigail is everything Geoffrey does not need. She upends his carefully ordered world at every encounter. As they begin to care for one another, Abigail carefully guards the secret that resulted in her journey to England.
Only, if Geoffrey learns the truth about Abigail, he must decide which he holds most dear–his place in Society or Abigail’s place in his heart.
I have fallen in love with this series and, in this third book, Christi Caldwell weaves an emotional, passionate and romantic opposites attract story.
Geoffrey was introduced in NEVER COURTED, SUDDENLY WED as the heroine Sophie’s aloof and rigidly proper older brother. Duty and responsibility are his bywords but he hadn’t always been this stickler for propriety. Five years ago, Geoffrey had fallen in love and chosen to put his own desires before everything else… a decision that was to have tragic consequences. It is easy to understand the guilt he has subsequently carried and his overwhelming need to somehow atone for what happened by putting duty and honour above all else. He knows he has an obligation to marry and produce a heir and he believes he has found the perfect candidate in Lady Beatrice Pennington… a demure, polite and respectable young lady. I love the ways in which Ms Caldwell reveals Geoffrey’s desire for an orderly life, like the list he compiles detailing the essential components for wooing a respectable young lady…
Ices at Gunter’s.
A walk in Hyde Park.
A trip to the theatre.
or calling his dog “Decorum”..
Abigail has come to England to stay with her uncle in the hope of leaving her scandalous past behind in America. This one mistake has resulted in her having to leave her family, home and everything she loves, knowing that nothing in her life could ever be the same again.
Her heart twisted. It would never be the same. She could not regain what had been lost; her virtue, her pride, her good name.
It is easy to feel her pain ad regret and understand her feelings of guilt for letting her family down. Her fear that she may never be able to return home is all too real.
Although there is an instant attraction between Abigail and Geoffrey, the actual romance builds slowly. I love the scene where Geoffrey rescues Abigail from the clutches of the lecherous Lord Carmichael. With nothing more than simple touch, Ms Caldwell conveys a wonderful sense of intimacy between them.
As if a man possessed, Geoffrey’s hand came up of its own volition to stroke the silken curve of her cheek.
“Thank you.” Abigail leaned up and placed her lips along his cheek. “I…just, thank you.” The husky timbre of her voice washed of him.
Abigail turns Geoffrey’s orderly world upside down. Unconventional, bold and outspoken, she is totally unsuitable but he can’t resist her. Propriety seems to fly out of the window! I love his jealous reaction when his friend, Lord Sinclair, shows an interest in Abigail – he wanted to snarl and toss the table aside and bloody Sinclair.
Geoffrey’s rejection of Abigail, after he learns of the true reason she left America, is so heart-breaking. I felt for both of them and it was hard to imagine how such a rift could be healed. It takes some straight talking from Lord Sinclair to make Geoffrey realise just how much Abigail means to him. Cue happy ending….not quite because there is one more twist in the story that I certainly didn’t see coming.
I love the significance of the tale of Dionysus and Ariadne and when Geoffrey gives Abigail a certain gift towards the end of the book, it is wonderfully romantic. In the Epilogue, Geoffrey is finally able to shed the guilt he has carried all those years.
I like the charming, roguish Lord Sinclair and Abigail’s cousins, Beatrice and Robert, who treat her with such kindness and concern. Of course, it is always a pleasure to see characters from the previous books.
Overall, an enchanting story that is both heart-warming and heart-rending.
REVIEW RATING : 5/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: WARM
Read March 2015