I was very kindly granted an ARC of this book in return for an unbiased review. I had already pre-ordered the book when I was given the ARC. The book is on sale now, and I recommend that you buy it.
This is the second novel in The Worth Saga. While it might work fine as a stand alone book, I would recommend beginning with the first book in the series, Once Upon a Marquess, to get a better idea of whom all the various supporting characters from Camilla’s family are.
Lady Camilla Worth was twelve when her father and oldest brother were convicted of treason and her family lost their money and social standing. Her father committed suicide in prison, her brother Anthony was transported to Australia, but there was a big storm and a shipwreck on the way and he is believed to have died on the journey. A family friend offered to take in the remaining Worth siblings, with the exception of Camilla’s younger sister, Theresa (who could most kindly be described as difficult). Judith, the eldest remaining Worth, promptly refused, and when Camilla wanted to stay, because she wanted “pretty dresses and lemon cakes”, very harsh words were had, then Judith took her other two siblings and left. Camilla has never been able to forget Judith’s angry words, and sadly didn’t get to stay with their “uncle” for many weeks before he shipped her off to some friends, unable to care for a moody young girl. Camilla never gets to stay in one place for very long, getting sent on whenever she is deemed too difficult or whomever she ended up serving (usually unpaid) died and after eight years, believes she is being punished for having chosen material comfort over love all those years ago. Now she’s working for a pittance for a minister who claims he’s saving her soul. This is where she meets, and is married at gunpoint to Adrian.
Adrian Hunter is the grandson of a duke. His mother married a black abolitionist, and as a result, some of her family don’t really want to acknowledge her or her family. Three of Adrian’s brothers died fighting in the American Civil War, so now he’s desperate to prove himself in some way and one of the ways in which he tries to do that is by getting his uncle, Bishop Denmore, to publicly support Adrian and his remaining brother. His uncle just needs a teeny tiny little favour first – which involves Adrian posing as a valet for a rival bishop, and finding proof of said man’s corruption. Once he obtains this proof, Denmore promises to openly acknowledge his nephews and sister. Adrian is not a very good valet and before he has any chance of finding anything incriminating, he finds himself married at gunpoint to Camilla, a flirtatious housemaid in the house Bishop Lassiter is visiting.
Full review on my blog.