My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Is the enemy of her enemy a friend…or a beast?
Lord Ashworth is scarred by a night of terror years ago that left his face in ruins and his life in shreds. He hides in Silverstone Manor, using rumors that paint him as a horrible, murdering monster to keep visitors at bay. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that the rumors might be true. He tells himself it’s better this way. If his memories ever resurface, at least he will be the only one hurt by them.
The woman on his doorstep, however, simply refuses to fear him. That’s not only an oddity, it’s a threat to his secret…and his heart.
Vivian Suttley has seen the face of evil more than once in her young life. She’s on the run from the latest, a cruel man determined to force her to marry him. Whatever the whispers about the reclusive Ashworth, surely it’s nothing compared to the bleak, violent future she leaves behind.
Ashworth saved her once before, and he’s her last hope for refuge. Yet she wonders if she’s truly safer at Silverstone—or if she has just made the biggest mistake of her life.
Warning: This book contains a lot of sexual tension and several sexual scenes, have a fan ready!
Review: I really liked this book! The emotional and sexual tension between Ashworth and Vivian is palpable and kept me reading. I wanted to know how this book would end and if the enemy would be caught. I wasn’t disappointed.
Ashworth was scarred in a terrible fight years ago, having tried his best to save a woman who didn’t deserve to die and taking her child to protect him from the evil that committed such a heinous crime and raising him as his own.
Vivian is running from a man she does not want to marry, after her father agrees to give her to him, since he found out his secret pleasure. Vivian runs to Ashworth, whose mother told her that she is seeking a wife for her son. Vivian remembers him as the man who saved her from certain ruin, pain and violence and refuses to budge from Ashworth’s remote and ramshackle estate.
Ashworth does his best to scare Vivian off. She’s in his way, disturbing his self-imposed punishment and peace, or torment, of mind. He believes he will harm, maybe kill, her. He is racked with guilt, thinking he killed his foster son’s mother, and that he might do the same to her.
Vivian refuses to leave, because she fears the man her father ordered her to marry. She believes Ashworth is her salvation and so forges ahead in her quest to become his bride. She is attracted to him. Seriously attracted. But an attack from someone close to Ashworth makes her even more determined to stick it out and win his heart, his love and himself–the man Ashworth is.
I loved the action and Vivian’s meetings with Ashworth’s foster son. I could tell that she instantly liked him and that it was mutual. Vivian treats him, not as a bastard, but as a young boy who needs contact with others. One who would benefit from her love and attention. She also challenges Ashworth as to his keeping the boy a secret form everyone.
The tensions between the characters was well-done. When a ghost from Ashworth’s past joins them at his estate, Vivian puts her resolve to the test and manages, barely, and through sheer grit, to convince said ghost of her love and devotion to Ashworth. He, however, does not apply himself as well, since he still believes himself unworthy.
After his past leaves, Vivian’s present visits them and the final confrontation occurs. Secrets are revealed, an unrequited, and most unexpected, love is also revealed.
Check this book out, because it’s a ride I think you’ll like.
(This book was given to the reviewer for free from the author and these opinions are my own.)