Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself.
The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction.
Another great addition to an appealing series with a mysterious woman set on revenge for the sins of the fathers. The Libertine Scholars are a fun loving bunch of entitled lords who now have to watch their backs while a vindictive woman sets out to destroy them.
Sebastian, Lord Coldhurst, has recently returned from exile in the Caribbean, he has received a full pardon from the King for a duel gone wrong several months ago. He had been challenged to a duel by Doogie, Baron Larkwell but something went terribly wrong and what Sebastian thought was a wide shot seemed to have killed him. He has felt guilty about the outcome and has sent money to the family, but there were huge debts to pay and Doogie’s sister is at her wits end. Beatrice Hennessey is out of funds and out of choices and she comes to the docks to ask Sebastian to marry her. He has sworn never to fall in love but thinks that a marriage of convenience might work for him and agrees to her plan.
He is under the assumption that with this marriage he can continue on as he once did, of course that is before he starts to have feelings for Beatrice and she has plans to seduce him. Sebastian has definite ideas about love and marriage so she has her work cut out for her as she plans for their future. Sebastian, Beatrice and the Libertine Scholars search for the reasons behind the threats and blackmailing and as the danger increases they are desperate to find the woman and put a stop her revenge.
This story picks up immediately after A Kiss of Lies ends. Sebastian has sailed back to England, he has been given a full pardon and he is ready to pick up where he left off, finding willing women and hanging with his friends. He is surprised when he rescues a woman from drowning only to find she is proposing. I think Beatrice is wonderful, she is ready to do almost anything to protect her family, swallowing her pride and accepting her fate. She is especially engaging when she decides she wants a real marriage and plans to seduce Sebastian, which has him thinking that this marriage may work. They bring several suspicions to the marriage, he never wants love as he feels it destroyed his parents and she has a huge secret of her own that I wish she would have mentioned to him, it causes trust issues and they fight several times, she believes that it is OK for her to demand trust and truth from Sebastian, but she can’t seem to tell him her secret. I do like that they are able to talk to each other and after a cool down period they realize what really matters, oh did someone say make-up sex! The sexual chemistry between them sizzles as the private scenes they have together are scorching.
I am enjoying the overall story arc of the series, a woman who was wronged by the fathers of these heroes finding revenge, I like how all of the men are baffled and would like to talk to the woman and help her, they do believe their fathers could have done something terribly wrong to her. I am intrigued with each of the men we have met and especially the one we have not met yet, Grayson, whose story is up next. Other secondary characters add much to the story; I really like Sebastian’s sisters and think their relationship with Beatrice is special.
The plot’s pace is fast and works well from the beginning when poor Beatrice is fished from the river to the dangers they face while dealing with a madman and woman bent on revenge, this is a definite page turner. This can easily be read as a standalone, there is an overall story arc but the author brings you up to date effortlessly. I am excited for more.
I give A Promise of More by Bronwen Evans 4 stars!