Violet Knowlton lives with her aunt and uncle in rural England . Her window overlooks a graveyard where she can see a boy playing with a sword. With an inattentive governess, Violet is able to meet him. Soon a couple neighboring boys join them.
The original boy is Kit, a boy who has grown up in the workhouse. Society says he's not fit company for the others but they accept him. Elbert Tomkinson is the son of the parish surgeon and Ambrose Tilton is the heir to a viscountcy. Together, they play and imagine treasures and dreams. When Kit turns 15, he's being sold into an apprenticeship, Elbert and Ambrose are sent to school and Violet's governess is dismissed.
Ten years later, Violet is attending a party with her fianc‚ and her aunt. Her uncle died a couple of years ago and her aunt has had them traveling ever since. Violet wants to please her aunt and agreed to marry a merchant that values her social status and her connections, more than herself. The highlight of this party is a demonstration in sword play by the celebrated sword master, Christopher Fenton. It doesn't take long before Violet recognizes Christopher for her long ago friend, Kit.
Kit is thrilled to see Violet again and wants to renew their friendship. It's not going to be easy but each feels an attraction to the other. Violet's engaged to be married to a man her aunt picked-out! Kit doesn't have much to offer Violet. And when Violet's aunt takes ill and shouldn't be unset, Violet has to decide what matters most to her.
This is the second in Jillian Hunter's The Bridal Pleasures Series. You don't need to read the first book to thoroughly enjoy this second book but the characters from the first do appear in the second.
The characters are unique. Violet has a past she doesn't know about that will change her standing within society. Her aunt has taken great care to make sure that Violet is brought up without any questions about her morality or that she is a true lady. However, Violet has a wildness within her that seldom appears. This wildness does appear during Violet's first dance with Kit, shocking everyone though they did try to imitate them. Kit is a product of his up bringing. He spent much of his childhood in the workhouse, not the best environment for anyone. This gives Kit a rough edge and a ruthlessness that many don't notice.
The historical setting was done extremely well. The research needed was done and it shows. There is more to early 19th century society than balls and the ton. As this story twisted its way into poorer neighborhoods and social roles, it gave life to a time that most readers only know from accounts and stories about the well-off.
Once again, I have to recommend this book to any historical romance reader. This isn't your typical romance and it's sure to keep your interest. The brides in this series are very independent thinkers and they want love more than an advantagous wedding.
Violet Knowlton is betrothed to the sensible, if tedious, Sir Godfrey Maitland. When Godfrey escorts her to a fencing demonstration, she looks forward to the adventurous diversion, but everything changes when she realizes the swordsman displaying his skill-and dashing good looks- is none other than her childhood friend Kit.
Soon the flames of their forbidden past ignite into a passion neither can refuse. Although Violet has been promised to another, Kit remains her first and only love. He vows he will possess her, no matter what stands in his way...