Mercy Dawson fell in love with Stephen Lyons when he was a patient in the hospital she was working at during the Crimea War. Every nurse was a little bit in love with him and looked for excuses to spend time with him. But Mercy truly fell in love with Stephen when three men attacked her one night and Stephen came to her rescue, holding her safe all night long. When one of the other nurses finds herself pregnant with Stephen’s child, she asks Mercy to come with her to Paris where she plans on delivering the child and then leaving it some where. Shortly after the child’s birth, two things happen. One, Stephen is listed as dead and two, the woman who gave birth to his child leaves without a word.
Mercy takes over the care of the babe, becoming his mother. She claims him knowing that she will lose her good name and her chance at a good marriage. This babe is part of Stephen so Mercy loves it as her own. However, she knows that she is lacking the ability to raise him in the way he should be raised. With that knowledge she approaches Stephen’s family. Her hopes are that they will take the babe in and she will be allowed to stay as his nursemaid. With Stephen dead, no one will be the wiser that she’s not the babe’s birth mother.
Stephen has returned to his brother’s house to recuperate. Originally thought dead, he was only severely wounded. Some of the wounds are not visible, like him not being able to remember any of the war, the people he was there with or anything for the past two years! Few people are aware of that so when Mercy shows up with a child she claims is his, he can’t remember if it is possible or not! Still, if the child is his, the proper thing to do is marry Mercy.
Mercy never expected to see Stephen alive. Does she take a chance and marry him hoping his memories never return or does she come clean with the truth?
This is the second book about three brothers. You do not have to read the first one to thoroughly enjoy this one. I didn’t know it was a second book and started with this one.
The characters are fantastic. Mercy loves this baby as if she had given birth. She would do anything for him. However, what really made Mercy real was the affects of the war on her. She has nightmares, she has things she wishes she could forget. She grew up quickly in that environment and it shows. Stephen is equally interesting. He’s lost his memory but wants it back so bad. He contacts those he served with wanting stories. He’s also in the unique position of having an older and a younger brother who is titled. Stephen has no title, no property, nothing to support a family except the good will of this younger brother.
The situations and settings were perfect. There is no DNA testing and people’s word was usually considered the truth. Trying to ferret out the truth was hard and not always successful. Figuring out what you want to do with your life is difficult when you’ve been trained to do nothing. The nurses with Florence Nightingale were considered as most nurses were loose women. Only through their dedication and the tales of returning soldiers were these views changed.
The tension between the characters drug you into their lives and wrapped you into a web that you couldn’t untangle. I had high hopes for Mercy and Stephen until the babe’s mother made an appearance. Suddenly, things got real shaky for them and I couldn’t put the book done as I had to know what happened next.
This is an awesome historical. I didn’t want to put it down and then once it was finished I couldn’t wait to find the previous book. Now, I have to wait until the next it out! No meek characters here but strong ones and unique ones abound. War is hell but sometimes something good comes out of it as Mercy and Stephen learn.
As the black sheep second son of an Earl, Stephen Lyons has gained a reputation in the art of seduction, but when his wicked ways result in scandal, he joins the army to redeem himself. On the battlefield, he proves courageous...until he is seriously wounded. Returning home to recover from his injuries, he discovers their true cost. How is it possible that he can't remember the angelic beauty who arrives at his doorstep, his babe nestled in her arms?
Mercy Dawson will risk everything -- including her good name -- to protect the son of the dashing soldier she once knew and admired. When Stephen offers to do the honorable thing, she is determined that London's most notorious gentleman will desire her and no other. But even as their passion ignites, Mercy fears that what began as an innocent deception could destroy her dreams and their blossoming love if Stephen ever learns the scandalous truth...