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It's 1806 and the Prince and Princess of Wales are at each others throats. They've been living apart for some time now but various things have happened (such as the Princess trying to claim that her adopted son who some say is actually her illigitimate birth son, is actually the Prince's son and therefore an heir) and now the Princess plans on publishing a book that will implicate that various members of the aristocracy are immoral. This part of the book is historical fact and is the background to the story.
Nathan is an earl and the husband of Evangeline. After the death of their son three years previously Evangeline moved to London and the couple have not seen each other since. When Nathan learns that Evangeline may be named in the book of scandal he takes her from London, back to the home that has so many awful memories for her. However, it soon becomes apparent that more than her reputation is at stake.
Nathan is known as the libertine of lindsey due to the fact that he drinks a lot, gambles a lot and since his wife left has a lot of women. In some ways he's never really grown up, still wanting to spend time with his friends, hunting and gambling, even when he had a young son and a wife.
Evangeline left her husbands home a broken woman, crippled by the grief of losing her son. She returns to it a much stronger woman.
I picked this book up in a charity shop hoping for a light hearted romance to cheer me up. That's not what I got. There is nothing light hearted about this book. The cover suggested to me that it would be quite an easy, light hearted read and while there's nothign wrong with the fact that it wasn't I think that the cover should have maybe reflected this.
This book has a depth of emotion that many romance novels don't have. I don't just mean the romantic side of things, because obviously that's a given in romance novels but rather that it has such a wide range of emotions in this book that are written so well that you actually feel them. When Evangeline and Nathan were grieving for their son you actually feel it with them. I think in this genre there's a tendency to over look emotions outside of the romantic relationship and when there are bad things that happen there tends to be a love conquers all attitude. Not in this book.
This book actually has a very realistic portrayal of grief, grief that can't be eased just by being with the right person but one that has to be eased over time and with great difficulty.
London writes the plot of losing a child and grieving for him extremely well. I was so pleased that she didn't over any quick solutions to it because I always find that a bit distasteful.
I thought that the characters were very well written and very real. Both characters had their strengths and flaws and even though they were written in the past (1800s) you could still recognise all kinds of problems that married people face today. Like for example that Nathan spent too much time with his friends and not enough with his wife. Personally I wouldn't see this as a problem and I did get a little bit annoyed at times that Evangeline expected him to give up his friends for her rather than have a good balance between spending time with his friends and spending time with his wife.
The beginning of this book really gripped me and had me wanting to read more but there was a point in the middle where I began to get quite bored of it. It did pick up again towards the end.
In some ways I felt like London tried to put too much into this novel. There was the grieving for their son, their reconciliation and renewing their romance which I thought was enough for one book. But then there was the storyline with someone targetting Evangeline and Nathan which I thought was unnecessary and made the book just a little bit too long.
This book was fairly enjoyable but I don't plan to buy the next book in the series because it wasn't so good that I would want to read more of this author.
I'm going to give this book four stars because it was well written and I think that for those who enjoy this type of book it will be great. For me personally it wasn't what I would have chosen to read about and I wish that the information on the back of the book had informed me that it was about a couple who had lost their son.