by Kelly Bowen
Series: The Lords of Worth #1
Pub. Date: Dec. 16, 2014
Where Secrets Smolder...
Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele "disappeared." Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele's carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.
This isn't the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?
This was a debut novel and first in a series from new author, Kelly Bowen. For a debut novel, this book was well-crafted and read at a good pace with an engaging storyline and characters.
Gisele is a tortured heroine whose life has never been her own. First caged by her father and sold into a marriage-turned-nightmare to the Marquess of Valence (Adam). Adam proves to be a horrid husband, isolating her from society and commiting depraved acts upon her body and mind. Things get so bad that Gisele fakes her death in a grand fashion (with some help). While Gisele makes off with a king's ransom in jewelry, she shows the fortitude and charity to use her experience and fortune to help other downtrodden women in similar circumstances. This is how we meet our network of interesting secondary characters ranging from a dowager duchess to lowly body snatchers! All were very entertaining and eccentric, and it is clear that they all care for and admire Gisele. But Gisele is simply an admirable heroine, I found her empathetic, resilient and compelling. When she discovered the Marquess was to be married a third time to a petite and demure girl, Gisele decides he must be prevented from committing his horrendous acts on anyone else.
To carry out the task, Gisele and friends need assistance. They luck out when they stumble upon a war hero down in his cups at a tavern. James Montcrief, bastard son of a duke, acquitted himself honorably at Waterloo, and has returned home saddened at his losses as the result of war. The more I learned about James' character, the more I liked him. He was an honorable as you would hope any war hero would be, and was an example of the chivalry of old both in the way he treated Gisele and his willingness to participate in the venture to stop the Marquess from perpetrating his evil deeds.
The Marquess was everything a villian should be - depraved, mad, and desperate. He was a character you could truly hate, and care not one whit how they went about dispatching him.
I really enjoyed this read and the characters, and I'm glad I picked it up. I almost didn't as the title and cover didn't appeal... which leads to my only complaint with this book. The title and cover in no way relate to the story. Our hero is not a duke, and the story doesn't take place in winter or any cold climate. But that's only a small thing and doesn't reflect greatly on the writing or the story.
The Lords of Worth Series
|My Review||Review Coming June 29th||TBR August 25, 2015|