A Promise of More: The Disgraced Lords Series by Bronwen Evans
Overview from Amazon:
When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself.
The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction.
So I started reading a different book a couple of days ago. I just couldn’t get into it and eventually abandoned it late last night and then picked up this book. Just reading the first chapter made me realize two things. One, how bad the book was that I had abandoned. I haven’t abandoned a book in years. Two, that I only want to post about books that I like and would recommend, especially since I don’t use a rating system (as of yet) on Kiltsandswords. So the book I abandoned shall remain nameless, but I am happy to share about this book.
You know the book is going to be steamy when it opens with a visit to a beautiful and talented courtesan. Sebastian is caught in a compromising situation by the woman’s protector and ends up in a duel. He delops, but to his amazement the young buck is dead. He flees to the Caribbean for months until the fervor dies down, but upon his return, he is called to answer for his sins by the dead man’s sister, Beatrice. They strike a business arrangement that negotiates marriage, babies and no love. Both seem content with this deal, but this is a romance novel and of course there is going to be reneging on someone’s part.
I liked both the main characters. Beatrice has the horrid reputation as “Henpeck Hennessey”, but she is smart and loyal. Sebastian is a typically Lord as he is free to come and go as he pleases. He longs for a marriage with a respectable woman whom he can be friendly with, but never love as he is scarred after seeing his parent’s volatile ‘love match’ destroy their family. They are both likable and interesting. I especially liked seeing Sebastian get his comeuppance in the romance department.
The romance is steamy. Beatrice is a virgin, who has never been kissed. Sebastian takes delight in introducing her to love making, but he’s the one who begins to feel things he never has before. The sex scenes are lush and exciting. There is variety and the descriptive language leaves little to the imagination.
The secondary characters are vast, as they are part of the Libertine Scholars group (and more novels to come). Sebastian’s family plays a more prominent role as Beatrice lives with them. Beatrice has her own special people she cares for and it’s an important plot point. Former lovers and jealous suitors make the action speed by. It’s a well written story and it weaves a tangled web that will continue throughout the rest of the books in the series. The group of men are searching for a lady who seeks revenge for the sins of their fathers. I am intrigued to know who she is and what her devious plans are for the rest of the Libertine Scholars.
The only struggle I had with this book was how Sebastian insisted on Beatrice’s fidelity and yet he relished telling her he could and would bed whoever he wanted. I totally get why this was used as a plot point, as it pushed Beatrice to try to win his heart. I must be uptight when it comes to hero’s, but I don’t like when they even attempt to seduce or bed another women.
I really liked this book. I stayed up way to late reading it because I couldn’t put it down. I liked the Libertine Scholars and will be reading the book preceding this and all the rest in the series as they come out. I like finding a new author to enjoy!!