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361 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published November 7, 2017
She was well aware that she was different. She was not warm or open in manner and never could be. She seemed incapable of showing her feelings. She was not ... Oh, she was not a thousand and one things other people were without any effort.What an enjoyable read! I just recently finished Book 2 in the series, Someone to Hold (my review), which was absolutely lovely, but it's not a required read (also: I have yet to read Book 1). Balogh keeps giving us these terrific heroines that completely break my heart (though in the very best of ways)!!
What was she, then? She did not want to define herself for the rest of her life with negatives.
It was not just her face that she had hidden from the world. It was the whole of herself. Her instinct was to hide behind veils within veils, and she had done it for so long that she did not know how to case those veils aside.She's now 29 years old, alone in the world, and longs for a family, children, and ... marital relations (love that she's so open about her curiosity and desire for this!). Alexander Westcott, the Earl of Riverdale (30), is 3rd on her list of suitors, and while the first two were unfortunate duds, she knows that Alex is in need of an heiress after unexpectedly becoming an earl and inheriting properties, without any of the necessary income to maintain them (or bring them back from the already-shabby state they're in). As soon as she meets him though, she realizes she should have left him off, for he is far too good-looking, but she nonetheless goes forward with "the interview" and lays out the situation, figuring you have to risk a lot to gain a lot.
What repelled him was, paradoxically, the very thing that had brought him back here. Her pain. It was carefully guarded. It was veiled more heavily than her face was, in fact. It was encased in a coolly poised manner. But it screamed at him from the very depths of her, and he was both horrified and fascinated.My Review. What follows is a truly lovely tale of two people who seem like they couldn't be more different, but who in truth fit together so very, very well. So many times, the romances we read feature tortured/pained/etc. heroes, who are healed and supported by the heroines, and it was a nice change to have this traditional setup reversed. I love Alex's family members, whom we met briefly in Book 2. We get to know Alex's mother and sister very well in this story and they're a wonderful addition to the story.
He was gazing at her rather than at the view, at her right profile, proud, inscrutable, beautiful. But appealing? Attractive? Lady of mystery. Jessica had chosen the very best words to describe her, he thought. She was unknown and perhaps unknowable. It had bothered him back at Brambledean, and it made him uneasy now. But ... he had glimpsed something tantalizingly fleeting behind the veil. Something ... no, he could not find the word. But something that invited him to keep looking.This review is of an ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Some changes and/or edits may be made to the final published version.