Series: The Disgraced Lords #4
Published by Loveswept on December 1st 2015
FINAL DECISION: Darker than the other books in the series, this book made me cry at the injustices done to this couple. The most complex and layered book, this is the best book of the series for me.
THE STORY: Lady Marisa Hawkstone is planning her marriage to the man she loves when everything goes wrong. She wakes up naked in the arms of her brother’s friend Maitland Spencer, Duke of Lyttleton. Maitland has a reputation of being cold and controlled, but secretly he fears the seething amount of passion and emotion he feels. Compelled to marry as Marisa is ruined, Maitland is challenged at every turn by the passionate Marisa. At the same time, it becomes clear that the secret enemy that is stalking Maitland and his friends has turned her attention to him.
OPINION: This is my favorite book in the series even though it tears my heart out. The story definitely isn’t “fair” as Maitland has one of the darkest backstories from among his friends and also there is a very dark moment in this book.
Maitland is a man who, like the other Libertine Scholars, had a miserable excuse for a father. Maitland saw his father ruthlessly indulge himself in his passions and Maitland has imposed deep controls on himself as a result. He intends never to feel enough passion to challenge those controls — because he is scared. And that is one reason that I really enjoyed this book because Maitland is a fallible and complex character who struggles through this book.
Marisa is another character that I liked. She is thoughtful and strong and determined to make her husband talk and listen to her. In fact, one of the best parts of this book is how the characters actually have discussions and work out their problems.
One small dislike in this book is how quickly Marisa declares her love for Maitland. As he observes, just a few days ago she claimed to be in love with someone else. That bothered me a little as well.
The sadness and darkness in this book is its strength. It demands more complexity and nuance in how these characters lives deal with their adversities and while I cried through much of the last quarter of the book, I think this book is the best of the series.
WORTH MENTIONING: One of the minor characters in this book gets his own happy ending in A DREAM OF REDEMPTION.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A WHISPER OF DESIRE is the fourth book in the Disgraced Lords series. While the romance can be read as standalone, there is an ongoing storyline involving the villain out to destroy the heroes in the series. This makes the series better read in order. I began the series by reading book 5 and while I quickly understood what was going on, it is better reading from the beginning.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.