I love a good forbidden romance, especially one where the hero is far beneath the heroine in social standing. And this is a good… forbidden… romance. Lady Rose is sister to the Duke of Huntford. Charles is the stable master. Their relationship started as an innocent friendship, but their feelings grew to something more. They never acted on their attraction, but it was, no doubt, the reason Charles left suddenly one day, without saying a word.
Three years later, they never expected to see each other again. Imagine their surprise when their paths cross and all the old feelings come rushing back. Rose is serving as a companion to an older lady, visiting Lady Yardley, a woman who used to be a friend of her mother’s. Charles is the steward on the property. Rose is there hoping to get more information on the mother who abandoned her all those years ago. She quickly discovers that Lady Yardley knows more than she is willing to share. Rose and Charles end up working together to uncover the secrets she is working to keep.
Oh, but in the meantime, there is so much delicious sexual tension. I love how deeply and truly these two care for one another. Rose doesn’t look at Charles and see his class or his abilities. She sees a good man. A smart man. A beautiful man. She is not so naive as to be blind to the roadblocks between them, but recognizes that what’s between them is something very special. Charles sees it too, but he is trying so hard to be noble. He doesn’t want to take anything from Rose. He doesn’t want to ruin her. But he wants her so much. He loves her so much.
I could just swoon all over the place.
Of course, there are forces working against them. And in most books, this would have led to an insipid misunderstanding that would have sent the heroine running for the hills. But not here. These two actually communicate. They’re also willing to sacrifice for one another when necessary –and to believe in each other and their love when push comes to shove.
I also liked the story thread involving Rose’s mother. It speaks a lot to Rose’s character how she responds to the circumstances. But it’s the relationship between Rose and Charles that makes this story sing.
The pacing is good. The romance is easy to root for. The sex is hot. And the ending totally satisfies. I would recommend this one.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
One Wild Winter’s Eve
by Anne Barton
Release Date: October 27, 2015