Nigel Purbek, Marques of Edgeware, is a bit of a recluse but he’s also got a reason. He has a secret. One he doesn’t really want the rest of the ton to know about. He has faced ridicule in the past for his passion for painting. His uncle tried to beat it out of him from the time of his father’s death. When he paints the woman of his dreams, he has no intention of that painting ever seeing the light of day. He plans to keep it hidden away on his estate. But fate has other plans for the painting.
Elsbeth, Lady Mercer, has been in love with the artist known only as Dionysus since she was a young woman, just out of the school room. But she’s also angry at him, and blames him for her horrible marriage to Lord Mercer. Lord Mercer was an abusive man and when he died in the war, Elsbeth was more than relieved. She was finally free from the evil man. When a painting of her in a very provocative position shows up at a local art gallery, she is absolutely furious with the painter. Especially since the painting ruins her reputation and no one believes that she DIDN’T pose for the picture.
Nigel determines to fix Elsbeth’s reputation, but will his plan fail or lead to something even greater for Elsbeth? Will Nigel ever reveal his secret or will he forever paint in the dark?
I enjoyed this work for the most part. The characters were well developed and the plot moved along well. It had just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing a little at what was going to happen and if these two would find their happily ever after. I did have a slight problem with the two main characters in that they both seemed a little weak willed and timid. I personally prefer a little more backbone in my heroes and heroines, but that is a personal preference and didn’t detract from the story itself.
One other thing I also had a slight problem with was the use of the word miracle. For my personal tastes I don’t like it when words are over used. And I really don’t like it when phrases or paragraph’s are used more than once in a story. Especially when it’s word for word the exact same paragraph as was used a few pages before. I know this is a personal pet peeve of mine and should be taken as such. But for me it did detract from the story just a little.
Overall though this is an enjoyable read and can be read by anyone.
Uncover the mystery behind The Nude...
After Elsbeth, Countess Mercer's husband died fighting the French on the Peninsula, the young widow hoped to quietly spend the rest of her days with her uncle and his two spirited daughters. She never expected to find herself at the center of a very public scandal.
An exhibition of a painting titled The Nude that looks shockingly like Elsbeth has set all of the tongues in Regency London wagging. This isn't the first time the painter, Dionysus, has caused havoc in her life. Though she's never met him, she fell hopelessly in love with him through his haunting landscapes nearly a decade earlier. Like Cyrano de Bergerac using his poetry to lure a woman to love another, Dionysus used his paintings to trick Elsbeth into marrying the wrong man. She refuses to let him hurt her again. She vows to find him and force him to prove her innocence.
Nigel, the Marquess of Edgeware, a reclusive but powerful figure in the ton has connections with Dionysus and reasons to protect the artist's true identity. Soon after Elsbeth begins searching for Dionysus, Nigel abducts the feisty widow and insists she accept his help. When she stubbornly refuses, he decides that seducing the lady just might be the swiftest and most effective means of diverting her attentions. Thanks to her unhappy marriage, Elsbeth is wary of men. While Nigel's playful flirting amuses her, she thwarts his attempts to draw her closer until one moonlit night when she is caught breaking into Nigel's study.
Suddenly, she discovers she's torn between the artist who owns her heart and the man who can set it free.