Lynford Pennistan, Duke of Meryon has been a widow for just over a year. He misses his wife more than he ever thought he would. He’s spent the past 6 months in France and has just returned to London to reenter society and Parliament. It’s a bit before the season in 1818 but there are still social events to attend. At the first one Meryon shows up to, he ends up retreating into a dark side room feeling the grief he can’t let go of. As he’s leaving, someone else enters and begins to cry.
Elena Verano has returned to England after her father threw her out at 14. She lived in Italy since then and married. Her husband has died and she misses him everyday. It’s as if a part of her is missing. Elena inherited a ward that she wants to introduce to English society. To do this, she plans on singing her way into invitations. She’s a well known singer in Italy and she does it not for the money but for the love of singing. In fact, she does not take payment as she’s wealthy in her own right.
Finding a gentleman in the room she has come to prepare herself for her first English appearance was a shock. But as they console each other, they become close. There is an instant attraction but where is it going to lead as neither wants marriage?
Meryon has other matters on his mind such as issues concerning the country and the downfall of another Duke. Elena has a ward to present and secrets that she would prefer hidden.
I love reading Ms Blayney’s novels. She does an awesome research job and then has the skill to share her knowledge with her readers with them not even noticing they’re learning history!
There are many historical novels that have a Duke as the hero. These Dukes go around to social functions and may vaguely mention the House of Lords. Ms. Blayney’s Duke of Meryon does so much more. Through him, you are given a glimpse inside the way a Duke lived and the social concerns of the day. His life does not revolve around balls and such but his family and his concerns about those he is responsible for. This multi-faceted approach to this character gave him such depth and life that you could believe that he was a real Duke.
The other characters in this book were done equally as well. Elena’s character had a passion for life. Her ward was wayward and drove poor Elena nuts. Quirks, personalities and fact were thrown together and came out interesting and intriguing.
Once again, I found a book that I couldn’t put down. I wanted to keep reading. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next and I loved it. If ever someone wanted a perfect Regency romance, this would be it. I can’t think of any emotion that wasn’t seen and I can’t think of anything more that I could possibly want.
Oh, I did think of something I could want…..more wonderful stories by Ms Blayney!
From author Mary Blayney comes this riveting new romantic novel set in a world of turbulent change. Here the scion of a powerful English family and a woman every bit his match begin an affair that will leave them both vulnerable to forces beyond their control.
A year after the death of his wife, Lynford Pennistan, Duke of Meryon, has returned to London and his weighty political responsibilities. But no burden can equal the regret Lyn feels for never allowing himself to show his wife the emotion that could have saved his marriage. Now an unexpected encounter with a beautiful widow may offer him a second chance..
As reluctant guests at a ball, Lyn and an elegant stranger talk of love and loss in ways they never have before. And when they are later introduced, their attraction goes from passionate to scandalous. As England’s political unrest explodes, so do the fires between Lyn and Elena Verano. But when a secret is revealed that will turn Elena’s life upside down, Lyn is forced to make a choice that could destroy them both…if Elena doesn’t make it for him.