Series: The Disgraced Lords #8
Published by Loveswept on February 20th 2018
FINAL DECISION: An enjoyable cross-class romance with a hero with a dark past and a heroine who is determined to have him. I especially enjoyed seeing the characters from the series five years later.
THE STORY: Lady Helen Hawkestone has decided to stop searching for a man to marry at balls and soirees. She realizes that every person she knows who married for love found their spouse in an unconventional fashion and also she has been intrigued by her sister’s employee Clary Homeward. Clary, however, is no gentleman and no match for the innocent and aristocratic Helen. When the two work together on her sister’s new orphanage project, Clary and Helen face danger from those engaged in the seedy underbelly of child trafficking and also the attraction between them that society would be scandalized by.
OPINION: I enjoyed this entry in the series. While there is a storyline involving the orphanage, the real focus in this book is on Helen and Clary and their romance. I liked how the two interacted and how Helen becomes stronger throughout the book.
Clary is a man who has overcome a horrible past and this book forces further growth in his character. He must overcome his shame in his past. I did think that his past was glossed over a bit. While it was important to the story, we don’t really delve into his past. It is difficult to believe that Helen would be so blase once she found out because she truly doesn’t have the experience to understand the exploitation. I did like seeing how Clary and his brother have reinvented their lives and it was nice seeing a happy ending for them.
Helen is also a character that grows through the book. She falls for Clary and begins to see the world as more complicated and more dark than she imagined. While this progression would not work for a typical aristocratic woman, her own sister’s life and her sister-in-law’s determination to not hide the darker parts of the world from her. Helen is no fool and she begins to recognize that her relationship with Clary will be complicated and perhaps make her a pariah, but she is willing to do everything for love.
I liked the complexity that Helen and Clary’s relationship brings to the characters from the series. This is a complicated situation and I liked that the story reflected that complication.
This was an enjoyable read especially for those who have followed the series because it provides a nice wrap up along with giving some characters a well-deserved happy ending.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book left me feeling good about the entire series because the five years later update shows how happy everyone is.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A DREAM OF REDEMPTION is the eighth book in the Disgraced Lords series. This book can be read as a standalone, but the book might be more enjoyable if one reads A WHISPER OF DESIRE first because it introduces all the relevant characters.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.