Simon Blackwell had suffered great personal tragedy; he wanted nothing to do with society, only to return back to the solitude of his Yorkshire home. He came to London to celebrate his Aunt Leticia birthday and planned to leave soon after.
Annabel McBride's first impression of Simon was that he was a rude, insufferable jerk. Situations kept throwing them together, making them acknowledge their attraction. On the eve of Simon's aunt's birthday they are found in a compromising position by a jealous acquaintance, who quickly ran to tell Annabel's brother.
Forced to marry to avoid further scandal. Simon and Annabel quickly leave for his country home. Annabel tries to make the best out of the situation; getting Simon's cooperation is an endeavor that she is unprepared for. Annabel is ready to find love and happiness and will do anything to make Simon feel the same.
THE SECRET PASSION OF SIMON BLACKWELL is an emotionally charged story that will break your heart as you watch Simon try to deal with the tragedy of losing his first wife and children. He is filled with guilt and pain. Annabel is unaware of Simon's pain; she just knows that he is holding something of himself back from her.
The most heart-wrenching scene takes place in their unkempt garden. When Simon sees Annabel about to prune 3 white rose bushes, he flips, and blurts that she cannot touch those plants because his wife and boys are buried there. Annabel is very upset to learn about his first wife and children this way, he should have told her in the beginning, not let her find out in such away. After Simon explains what happened, Annabel struggles to make him move on with his life, to not forget, but to forgive himself and know that his first wife would not want to see him suffer so.
Samantha James wrote a wonderful story, showing how someone can rise from sorrow and learn to live and love again. I really liked how she began each chapter with an entry of Simon's diary, giving the reader an insight to his real feelings. But, I was rather annoyed with some of the prose. I believe she over used the "Oh but..." fanciful phrase when Annabel was thinking about her situation. But irritating phrases aside, I really did like this book.
A cruel twist of fate changed Simon Blackwell's life irreparably. A man of intense passions, he resolved to deny his emotions and desires forever, taking refuge in the wilds of the moorlands and shutting himself off from the world. But on one extraordinary night, on a rare trip to London, the unthinkable occurs. An intoxicatingly beautiful stranger stirs the sensuous hunger he has sworn to resist. Simon Blackwell believed that no woman could tempt him. No woman . . . save Annabel McBride. Annabel knows nothing of Simon's secret pain. But one irresistible kiss plunges her into marriage with a man she scarcely knows, a man who hides a shattered past. She can feel the blistering heat of the fire that smolders within this exquisitely handsome man, making her yearn for much more than the union in name only he has promised her. But Simon dares not love again—for fragile love can be lost in an instant. And now Annabel must find a way to open his heart to the most glorious risk of all . . .