The Viscount Risks It All by Erin Knightley (Prelude To A Kiss #4)

The Visount Risks It All by Erin KnightleyAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Signet

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Gavin Stark, Viscount Derington, learned his lesson when his childhood love was swept off her feet by another man before Dering could declare himself. Ever since, he has lived a life of no regrets—reaching for what he wants while never again allowing himself to lose his heart. If the experience taught him anything, it was never to risk what he wasn’t willing to lose.

Lady Felicity Danby had everything she ever wanted in life until the moment her husband died, turning her world upside down. A year and a half later, she is finally ready to return to Bath to spend the summer visiting family. She finds comfort in her old childhood friend, but is taken off guard when passion begins to simmer between them. She’s already lost everything once—can she possibly risk her heart a second time?

Ms. Knightly brings us an emotional story of unrequited love and the power of friendship that lasts for years. The fourth book in the series tears at your heart as Dering and Felicity meet again after many years of happiness and a recent tragedy, to find love.

Gavin Stark is the Viscount of Derington; he lives in Bath and enjoys surrounding himself with people, the more the merrier. He has never married but was once in love and before he could tell her how he felt she married another, he was devastated. In the ten years since, he has not seen Felicity and each time she visited, he was always conveniently away, that is until now when she accompanies her good friend and sister-in-law Charity to the second annual Summer Serenade in Somerset.

Lady Felicity Danby (Lady Cadgwith) is a widow who has been in mourning for 18 months; she was married for eight years to a man she loved very much but is ready to start living again and feels a return to Bath is a good start. She travels with her daughter Bella who 16 months old, the image of her father who never met her.

She is excited to see Dering again; she has missed her best friend and was hurt when he cut off communication when she married. He unfortunately is not as happy to see her at first, preferring to keep their relationship as it has been, but with the festivities and various circumstances they are thrown together. They start to remember what their friendship meant and begin to treasure it again.

I have read all the books in this series and have enjoyed them for their character development, intriguing plots and the romance. This book brings all the previous couples together with the chance of revisiting the Serenade and catching up with friends and relations, and although this is the fourth book, the author keeps new and returning readers up to date.

I like Felicity, she is relatively happy in her life and was married to her true love and even though he is gone, she has a wonderful daughter, she is not really thinking of marrying again. But I felt so sorry for Dering, I wanted her to see him and immediately realize what she had missed for all those years, unfortunately she did not and I had to be OK with it, or stop reading. Yet the author actually did an exceptional job of keeping my interest and anticipation up for the ending and the HEA, however there were tears.

I loved Dering; he was heartbroken years ago but has put that behind him and treasures his time with friends, many friends. You can tell that this is his way to cope with the loss, filling up all his free time that otherwise would be spent thinking of the past. When he sees Felicity again he believes his feelings are of friendship only; however he realizes he never stopped loving her.

I enjoyed the two together, they pick up their friendship as though time has stood still, competing on the billiards table and at cards, but things have changed and this time he wants her to know how he feels, but oh the heartache as she realizes how long he has loved her. I especially felt for him when she did not want to dance with anyone, marring her last memories of her husband. Although the chemistry between them is apparent, she is not ready for more yet and the tug at your heart is strong.

The pace is quiet as these two renew their friendship and move to deeper feelings. I like how things develop and I enjoyed re-visiting previous characters to see how their lives are progressing and how they find joy in spending time together with friends, including the birthday party for Dering featuring “feats of strength” the men performed to show off. This is a well written historical romance with warmth and heart.

I give The Viscount Risks It All by Erin Knightly 4 stars!

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