Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo
Kelly Bowen has done it again! She has grabbed my heart and taken it as her own with this emotional, inspiring story of secrets, good vs. evil, and love against all odds. The main characters had so many twists and turns to their story, and I loved how their interactions were genuine and heartfelt. There wasn't a scene in this book where I could say the author overdid the drama or underplayed the tragedy - it was passionate and real.
All Katherine Wright wanted to do was escape her family's smuggling business - it was too dangerous and she wanted something more in her life. But what she got was betrayal and loss, and when she returned home seven years later, she dedicated herself to healing her family and working to ensure they could eventually leave the dangers of their profession. One evening, when her brother is injured, a man arrives who she knows only as a lord with a love of women - certainly not as the doctor he claims to be. Harland Hayward, Baron Strathmore lives a double life. By day he is a carefree lord, teaching young women how to become doctors and ensuring the safety of his family. By night he is the money behind Katherine's family's smuggling business. Starting out as adversaries, they become friends and soon much more. But Harland has a secret, one that can prevent him from giving Katherine the lives she deserves and the love she craves.
Harland was perhaps one of my favorite characters in any book I have read this year, simply because of his way of interacting with everyone around him. He had one of those personalities where he knows exactly what he wants to say at the moment who wants to say it - the perfect retort, the perfect backhanded compliment, and the perfect response to calm down a flustered young woman. He was the ideal hero for Katherine, who was jaded, rightly so, and wanted nothing to do with a lord who wasn't who he seemed to be. She had had enough of men, particularly ones who seemed to go through women every week. As they got to know each other and see the layers beneath the skin, they realized that each had a past that needed to be dug up if they were every to heal and move on. They needed each other. It was a very symbiotic relationship.
I can't wait to see where the series goes next, if there is another book here. I hope so!
**I received a free copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.**