Sins for All Seasons, Book 2
I actually started this series with the first book (Beyond Scandal & Desire) which I really enjoyed, and this is an excellent continuation.
The series centers around a family of, for lack of a better word, bastards that a poor widow took in. None are related by blood but they are all as close as siblings usually are. The youngest is actually the mother’s only natural child, and one of two girls, and this book centers on the older girl, Gillie Trewlove.
Gillie is a most independent woman, raised to stand on her own two feet and take care of herself. Yes, she has four very tough brothers to look out for her, but even as a young child she was fiercely independent. In this story, she is thirtyish, unmarried and owns a tavern. She dressed as a boy for most of her childhood, and her mother’s dire warnings about getting pregnant have her binding her breasts and dressing in shapeless clothes as her regular attire. She is used to being ignored by men and is fine with that.
One night after closing the tavern, she hears a scuffle out back and goes to investigate. There she finds a man being beaten & robbed by four men, who run off as she approaches, leaving him for dead. He is severely wounded, and Gillie takes him upstairs to her apartment over the tavern and nurses him back to health. He is the most beautiful man she has ever seen, and he finds her most attractive and intriguing as well.
Turns out that man is Thorne, a Duke. He had been left at the altar earlier that day and was trying to find his runaway bride when he was attacked. Gillie helps him search for days, and they get to know one another in the process and fall in love. But neither can or will admit it or act upon it, at least not for a long while.
Gillie knows that the Duke must marry someone in duty to his family, not for love, and she has no interest in marrying into royalty or really anyone, as then her tavern would become her husband’s property. Eventually they work through their difficulties to find their happily ever after, and have some of the steamy love scenes that Heath is known for in the process.
I was a bit annoyed by the whole duke-can’t-marry-a-commoner issue as in my admittedly limited experience in the genre, Dukes generally do whatever the hell they want and the ton learns to deal with it. Beyond that minor quibble, it was a most enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
8/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
WHEN A DUKE LOVES A WOMAN by Lorraine Heath. Sourcebooks Casablanca (July 31, 2018). ISBN 978-1492663355. 352p.