ABOUT THE BOOK
The cool, aloof earl
And the enchanting lady
For Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden, emotional entanglements are the path to pain. But when his brother brings his new wife and her best friend to his country home, everything changes. Lady Cecily Thornhill is both vibrant and beautiful, and Jack finds himself increasingly captivated by her sunny nature. Yet he must resist her charms, for in a month she’ll be gone—unless his frozen heart thaws before then…
I have been a Catherine Tinley fan for a couple of years because of her strong and intelligent heroines and stubborn, yet vulnerable heroes. This book has that and more with its moving story of a man with a tortured soul and a woman determined to show him what love is.
Lady Cecily Thornhill is happy for the marriage of her best friend Nell to Mr. Tom Beresford and has been asked to accompany them to Tom’s country home in Hazledene for a few weeks. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy about the nuptials. Namely, Tom’s brother Jack Beresford, Earl of Hawkenden. In fact, at a party, The Earl is furious and proceeds to direct his rudeness toward Cecily originally mistaking her for his new sister in law to which Cecily puts him in his place and leaves. When he arrives at Hazledene and discovers his error, he apologizes and starts to develop a kinship with Cecily as she delves into Jack’s psyche and Jack delves into confusion and untold torment for a woman he cannot stop thinking about.
Augustus Henry John (Jack) Beresford, Eighth Earl of Hawkenden, doesn’t believe in love. He sees marriage between people of his class as a business deal and his brother has shocked and outraged him with a marriage Jack did not know about beforehand. Was it entrapment? Needless to say, the equally stubborn and headstrong brothers are at an impasse. It’s bad enough Jack is sharing his home with the newly wedded couple, but it’s very difficult to ignore the beautiful, intelligent, and steadfast Lady Cecily Thornhill. She pries open his deep dark secrets. She threatens his fragile control. He cannot have feelings for her. “He had trusted in love before, as a foolish child, and had received only betrayal.”
I love the fact that Cecily takes it into her own hands to heal the rift between the two obstinate brothers as she slowly starts to understand the loneliness and despair Jack covers up with his aloofness and cynicism. I truly feel she is Jack’s savior from himself as she gets him to open up about his sad and cruel past. I also commend Cecily for working with Nell as they discover the similarities between the brothers and their abandonment issues as children. Cecily is truly a kind and generous soul towards Jack despite his outrageous and rude behavior. She is determined to see the good in him when everyone else sees arrogance and coldness. I must say the buildup to their passionate embrace at the soiree is worth waiting for. Jack has some serious demons as he and Tom lost their mother at a young age and their beloved nursemaid Tilly left shortly after. Their father was cruel and made them feel unloved and Jack felt abandoned by the two women who loved him. Therefore his irrational thoughts saw Tom abandoning him for Nell leaving him alone and unloved again. Cecily changes all that with her undeniable patience for a broken man who deserves love. Not to mention her beautiful surprise from Jack’s past is a real tear-jerker.
As I have said before, supporting characters are vital for a good story and there are a few I want to mention in this book. Nell and Tom’s marriage of love is well documented for Jack’s benefit as he slowly starts to come around to the idea despite his own conflicts. Mr. Hastings and Mr. Carmichael are refreshing additions as guests at Hazeldene who flatter and flirt with Cecily to Jack’s jealousy.
This is a delightful historical love story with complex and compelling characters, beautiful settings, and angst and love only a Regency romance can accomplish. For more lovely Catherine Tinley Regency romances please read my reviews for Rag-to-Riches Wife and A Waltz with the Outspoken Governess.
Thank you to Ms. Tinley for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine Tinley is an award winning author of historical romance. She writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, while Rags-to-Riches Wife won the RoNA Award for Best Historical Romance 2021.
She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, Sure Start, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now manages a maternity hospital. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cats, and dog and can be reached on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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