When Adam washes up on the Cumberland shore, he was lucky enough to still have a pulse.
Mariah was all alone in the world and easily tempted to let the nefarious George Burke worm his way into her life, if only to stave off the loneliness. His persistence in vying for her hand induces her to tell a bold-face lie. She comes across Adam as he drifts along in the water and pulls him to safety. Suffering from amnesia, Adam proves to be the perfect temporary solution to Maraih's problem. But what happens when this temporary solution becomes a lifetime desire?
Read an excerpt: here
The book starts off on a somber note. 3 friends, members of this 'lost lords' brotherhood, visit their alma marer to tell their beloved headmistress and teacher, Lady Agnes Westerfield, that they have lost yet another of their ranks. Adam Darshan Lawford, Duke of Ashton was presumed dead after a mysterious boating accident. After their teacher informs them that presumed isn't good enough for her and that they should not accept defeat so easily, the 3 friends set off on a journey to discover the truth...
Charles Clarke was a gamer. He loved his cards and his gambling almost as much as he loved his daughter, Mariah. Sans a mother for as long as she could remember, Mariah had lived with her Great-Grandmother Rose (Granny Rose) until her untimely death, and then went to travel from place to places, learning the gamer-ways with her father. Charles won Hartley Manor from fat-pocket George Burke, and decides to settle down a bit and give his beloved daughter a real home for a change.
All is grand and splendid until Charles goes on an ill-fated 'family business' trip concerning some long estranged relatives , but never comes back. It is the pompous George Burke who stops by the Manor to inform Mariah that her father was found dead at the scene of a highwaymen robbery just outside of London. Obviously grief stricken but determined to manage as best she can, she continuously refuses Burke's immediate, insensitive and thereafter tenacious proposal of marriage and courtship.
Fearing the biting loneliness will compel her to accept George's hand, she tells him that she is married. He has a hard time believing her, but when he comes a calling one day and tries to force his attentions on Mariah, he is take aback by the emergence and retalliation of a studly stranger who calls himself her husband.
While thinking over her predicament late one night, Mariah ambles close to the shore and feels an inexorably force draw her closer to the sea. She happens upon Adams body, drifting in the sea and so close to death. Bringing him back to her home, she realizes he has amnesia and does something that shocks even her, by informing the stranger that he is her husband. She even tells him his name is Adam (although she has never met him before, the name presented itself to her so she provided that name when asked).
Slowly, pieces of Adam's past start to come back to him, and when Mariah gives into temptation and lays with him, she is soon requied to come clean and tell him of her deception. Adam battles with his betrayal and undeniable tender feelings towards the woman who saved his life. Matters are complicated further once Adam's friends find him and inform him of his ducal rank. Mariah knows her station in society is no where near acceptable for a duke, but when Adam insists that she comes with him to his London home, she can't refuse.
Family secrets start to surface, putting our characters through shared emotional trails and tribulations. But matters are complicated even further when attempts are being made on the duke's life, and it is realized that that mysterious boating accident was more than just an accident. Truths and choices all come to a spectacular head as Adam realizes that losing the woman who found him and captured his heart is just not an option.
::Rating:: 3 1/2 "Aww's" ::Rating::
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Adam, still weak from his near-fatal shipwreck, rushes in to the drawing room and saves his wife from the unwanted attentions of George Burke. Burke was still leery about Mariah's purposed husband and decided to press his suit more aggressively. Adam immediately needs to relax after exerting so much energy fending off the fiendish Burke and he and Mariah take a seat on the couch. They share little intimacies (through words and little actions). It was a beautiful sequence of scenes.
In retrospect, I started this book with a few expectations. The plot was one that brought specific ideas to mind. Heroine having to play the role of concerned spouse. Little flash-backs of Hero's past. An amazing consummation scene. And I can safely assure you, it's all there. I enjoyed the plot, the characters and most of the scenarios. The story got a little too 'convenient' for me, and just a bit improbable. Character reactions, such as Mariah's to her father's death was a bit off to me, a bit rushed, but still held some merit. I loved the progression from Hartley Manor to Ashton House, and enjoyed the many different twists, turns and side plots that kept everything interesting but tied together nicely at the end. A 3-E (Entertaining, Exciting and Enjoyable) read for sure!
*Give the next book in 'The Lost Lord' series a read, 'Never Less Than A Lady', Major Randall's Story/ My Review can be found: here
*Or try something from the acclaimed 'The Fallen Angel' Series, 'One Perfect Rose'