- File Size: 764 KB
- Print Length: 222 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 160183571X
- Publisher: Lyrical Press (March 28, 2017)
- Publication Date: March 28, 2017
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01HWKOFAQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,675 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Wild Lavender (The Emperors Of London Book 7) Kindle Edition
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It was as fun as the rest, but less information. I'd have given up a sex scene or two for more info on why Helena's relationship with the Duchess would lead to such horridly mean results. Alconbury was the best surprise but I truly felt the ending was rushed this time.
The cast of characters is sensibly kept to the immediate families of both protagonists, one notable villain and a couple of important historical figures... Bonnie Prince Charlie being one of the latter.
I love non-Regency historicals and this is another great example. Set in the years 1750 and 1755, it's beautifully detailed and includes verifiable historical facts such as Charles Stuart's clandestine visit to London in 1750 and Fleet marriages, which became illegal in 1754 and forced those who wanted a hasty wedding to head for Scotland instead. Hence the many mentions of Gretna Green in Regency romances - getting married in England required a minimum three-week wait for the banns to be called.
I never quite understood why Helena's mother had it in for her quite so badly, and why if she disliked Helena so much would she be determined to have her as a companion for life? Surely she'd be determined to marry her off and get rid of her? Money to hire a companion instead is after all no object to a duchess. It was a plot point that never quite made sense, to me.
Tom and Helena, however, were a perfectly charming couple, from the adorable falling in love at first sight to the agonizing separation they had to endure. The love scenes between them were delightfully done, and made me very glad I didn't live in the Georgian era... all those hoops and stays must have made a lady's life perfectly miserable!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
This book is written in two parts. The first part begins about five years before the end of the previous book Veiled in Blue. This book features Helena Vernon, the younger sister of Julius (the hero of Veiled in Blue) and Tom Dankworth, Earl of Alconbury. Helena and Tom's families have been enemies for years and Tom's family are know Jacobites.
These two meet by chance and experience an instant attraction, neither knowing who the other is. They share a passionate kiss and are caught by Helena's brothers. When Tom realizes who she is, he claims to have known all along and says that he was just using her to annoy her brothers. Helena is at first hurt, but knows what they shared was real and when they meet again, the embark on a secret affair. When Tom's father finds out about the affair, he tells Tom a secret that will shatter any hope of happiness between him and Helena. He ruthlessly ends their affair and refuses to see her.
Part two begins five years later, which is right about the same time the previous book ends. Helena is living with Julius and Eve. She came to live with him shortly after his wife Caroline dies and she helps care for his daughter Caro. She was heartbroken after Tom ended their relationship and has never stopped loving him, but she has decided to move on with her life and is making plans to purchase her own house and live as a spinster. With Julius help she has been able to avoid her dragon of a mother and has evaded all attempts to be married off. All her plans change when an over zealous suitor abducts her and claims to have her families blessing. Tom sees Helena being abducted and immediately goes to her brother and then sets out after her.
When Tom catches up with them, he rescues Helena, but is not able to quash the scandal that ensues. When Helena demands to know the true reason he left her, he grudgingly agrees to tell her the awful truth, but asks her to meet him in private. When Helena asks for straight answer before agreeing to meet, Tom just gives her a vague explanation. That vague reply was enough for Helena to gather information that would dispute his arguments.
When Tom reveals the horrid truth, Helena is able to disprove the story he was told. At first Tom is shocked and can't believe that his parents lied, but he is ecstatic to realize that there is nothing (aside from their families hatred of each other) to keep them apart. Resolved to be together, they decide that they are willing to face their families wrath. Helen reluctantly agrees to return to Julius' house and wait for Tom to break the news to his father. When she returns to the house, she is met by her parents, who are determined to take her home with them and marry her off. Confronted with this Helena blurts out the secret she has been keeping for five years. Her mother is enraged and vows to bring Helena home and crush all her hopes and dreams. Helena runs away and goes to Tom's family home. Tom has told his father the truth about him and Helena and shows him the proof that she found that debunks the story his father told him. His father is stunned and he refuses to let Tom and Helena stay at the family home. He changes his mind when a disheveled and distraught Helena shows up at the house. Julius comes looking for her and vows to support her.
It seems like these two will finally get their HEA, but then a shocking twist is thrown at our lovers and what seems to be a new beginning, soon looks to be the end of their hopes and dreams!
I really liked this book, it was a bit slow at the beginning, but soon the pace picks up and the story is just amazing. The dates regarding Tom's secret are a little confusing and confounding, but in the end it didn't really matter to me, I was just thrilled that they were able to be together. The book is well written, has steamy love scenes, some action, lots of secrets, life and death moments, shocking revelations and finally a very hard earned HEA.
This is the seventh book in the series, but I think it could be read as a stand alone title with no problems. I haven't read the entire series, but I am definitely going to go back and read the books I haven't read.