Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
Lady Frances Torridon, a new mother, escapes her husband's estate to do something to relieve her ennui and her doubts as to her husband's affections, and seeks refuge with her friend, outrageous widow, Ariadne Marshall. She inadvertently takes the rubies, her husband has given her with her, resulting in her friend making up a wager—they'd go out in disguise and the woman who is recognized, loses her jewels.
Frances's test is the masked ball at his brother's castle in Blackhaven, where no one recognizes her, and where she meets an intriguing stranger with a Russian accent, a stranger that helps her rescuing her sisters and whose help she'll beg when the rubies are stolen. Little does she know the masked stranger is none other than her husband who came running after her, determined to reclaim his wife and her love no matter what.
This was a sweet story of a second chance at love when that love is presumed to be lost. It was lovely reading of Frances and Alan, husband and wife who are a little more than strangers to one another, even after a year of marriage and how they get to know one another and the other's feeling for themselves as they learn the "magic" of communication and the skills of letting go of misconceptions and rules in order to listen to their hearts and instincts.
The two spent most of the story apart, but the feelings for one another were palpable, despite the misgivings and doubts, so it was a wonderful experiencing the story alongside them.
Sure, they had to work against pretty mighty forces in the form of an overbearing, controlling mother-in-law and a fake friendship, but they persevered and once they started actually talking and once Torridon let go of his rigid control, it was all smooth sailing.
This story also featured a reunion of sort of previous protagonists, showing us glimpses of what is going on after their own HEA's...And the war is finally over.
A lovely ending to the series, though I'm a little sad to leave Blackhaven. Now, I only have to wait for Dr. Lampton to get his second chance.