Synopsis: A Courageous Outcast . . .
Rosamunde Baird has lost everything and has no choice but to accept an invitation to spend a season with a dowager duchess and her clandestine ladies club. Determined to stay in the shadows and live quietly, she has sworn never again to come face to face with adventure and temptation, two things that brought her ruin years ago. But then the Duke of Helston dangles before her the very things she craves most…
Lord Fire & Ice . . .
Mysterious Luc St. Aubyn is well known for exuding blistering passion at night and frost the morning after. But dark mystery swirls around this audacious war hero. A tragic past has driven the Duke of Helston to hide the twin secrets of the dowager’s Widows Club and his own infamous writing talent. When he’s blindsided by his reactions to a virtuous siren, he has no choice but to reveal all during a scandal that will doom them …or save them, if only they dare to believe in love.
My Thoughts: This was my first book by Sophia Nash and I was not disappointed. She did a great job of storytelling and world building with this one. I was hooked from the first sentence to the last.
In the beginning, I enjoyed Rosamunde’s youthful spirit. She loved sports, such as racing horses. She was carefree, and most importantly, she was her father’s favorite child. I loved reading about her crush on young Henry who was to be the next Duke of Helston and how after she won a race with him she tentatively asked him for a kiss as her reward. I thought it was all so sweet. But then it took a turn. Henry told her he loved somebody else. And although the kiss between Henry and Rosamunde was very innocent, it was reported to be much worse than it really was. So, rather than be forced into a marriage with a man she knew didn’t love her, she ran and married a man she thought was kind, and who she thought she would able to have at least a convenient marriage/friendship with because her reputation was ruined. She was wrong.
Eight years later, she’s widowed and the Dowager Duchess of Helston has invited her to stay at her estate to be part of her Widow’s Club. And it is there where she meets Luc, the younger brother of boy she’d kissed so many years ago. Luc and Rosamunde form a fast friendship which I enjoyed. I enjoyed learning more about his family through his point of view. It was wonderful watching the closeness that formed between the two characters and seeing them share secrets with each other that they had never shared with anyone else.
There are also a host of wonderful side characters in this book, but the two I’ll mention are Ata and Sylvia. First and foremost is the Dowager Duchess, Ata, a very spirited woman who heads up the Widows Club. She is short in stature but believes she makes up for it by wearing dresses that flow just a few inches too long. Of course, because he dresses are too long, she is always tripping over them. Also, there is Rosamunde’s sister Sylvia, who has remained faithfully by Rosa’s side since she left the family home eight years ago. However, Sylvia’s got secrets of her own that she’s trying to hide.
Verdict: This was Very Good. I enjoyed Luc and Rosamunde immensely and am looking forward to reading the follow up: The Kiss.