Author: Jane Feather
Source: Requested Review
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 447 pgs
Release Date: June 21, 2011
New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather again delights with her new book in this entrancing Georgian trilogy featuring three noble brothers who are offered a preposterous opportunity to restore their family’s mortgaged lands. An eccentric uncle promises a lavish inheritance, but only if each marries—thus redeeming—a fallen woman. And if even one brother fails to fulfill the old man’s decree, none will gain the windfall.
Lady Serena Grantley was born to the nobility, but fortune's whim placed her in control of her gamester stepfather, who uses her beauty to lure young men to his gambling tables. Serena even dismissed her first love, the Honorable Sebastian Sullivan, at her stepfather's command. But when he attempts to force her into a liaison with a dissolute earl, Serena resolves to do his bidding no more. Sebastian is the only man who ever captured her heart, and it is to him she turns. . . .
Torn between family loyalty and the woman he loves, Sebastian faces a devilish dilemma. His uncle is ailing, and time is running short. Desperate to find a solution, Sebastian conceives a dangerous plan—a wager that could bring him and Serena happiness at last . . . or separate them forever.
Set in 1762 London, nothing is predictable about this second novel in Feather's Blackwater Brides historical romance series. Serena and Sebastian find themselves mixed up with a will containing stipulations which must be fulfilled before the death, a wicked greedy stepfather full of nefarious plots, a love denied, two loves found and a sword fight.
Three years ago, Serena's stepfather forced her to break the heart of her true love, 24 year old Sebastian, by telling him she didn't love him, that he had just been a dalliance. Her stepfather promptly whisked her off to Brussels that very afternoon. Today, Serena is not happy to see Sebastian because she still loves him. But she is now an independent, strong woman and she will deal with the situation as best she can.
When 27 year old Sebastian visits the new gaming house, he is stunned to see Serena, to realize that he is not only still furious at her treatment of him, but he is also still deeply in love with her after all this time. His twin and older brother are disturbed to learn she is back; they remember what he was like when she left him.
Neither has any idea what meeting 16 year old Abigail will have on their lost relationship.
I don't typically read this genre because the story seems to get lost in all the historical aspects - descriptions of scenery, buildings, political atmosphere, etc. This was pleasantly devoid of those. The historical clothing, mode of transportation and slang are used as the background of the story and don't take it over; well done, Ms. Feather.
This is a good sexy romance with another romance between young friends thrown in for good measure. Had I not known before reading that this was part of a series, I wouldn't have suspected it. It is a stand-alone story with minor mentions of things that occurred in the past and a little bit of foreshadowing of something that may happen in the future with Perry, Sebastian's twin.
Warning Spoiler Alert!!!
This does have a HEA ending