on January 5th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
From the bestselling author of The Duke Can Go to the Devil, comes a new novel about destiny, and taking a risk on a second chance at love… Gavin Stark, Viscount Derington, learned his lesson when his childhood love was swept off her feet by another man before Dering could declare himself. Ever since, he has lived a life of no regrets—reaching for what he wants while never again allowing himself to lose his heart. If the experience taught him anything, it was never to risk what he wasn’t willing to lose. Lady Felicity Danby had everything she ever wanted in life until the moment her husband died, turning her world upside down. A year and a half later, she is finally ready to return to Bath to spend the summer visiting family. She finds comfort in her old childhood friend, but is taken off guard when passion begins to simmer between them. She’s already lost everything once—can she possibly risk her heart a second time?
From the Paperback edition.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Never have I felt so much for a broken-hearted hero. Gavin and Felicity were childhood best friends; Gavin knew when he was fifteen that he was in love with Felicity, and when they reached the age of twenty, he decided the day had come to propose to Felicity. Unfortunately, it was the same day that she told him she was getting married. Gavin’s heart broke, and so did mine. Ten years later Felicity, a widow for eighteen months, returns to her hometown with her small daughter. Gavin has never forgotten her, and he is stunned speechless when he sees her at a soirée. Although, he wants to get married, he is not looking for love because he’s still hurting.
I will admit to feeling a bit conflicted about this romance until the last thirty or so pages of the book, not because the ending is rushed, but because of the author’s perceptiveness and dedication to authenticity. Ms. Knightley provides a tremendous insight into love lost, whether it be about Felicity, who had deeply loved her husband, or Gavin’s broken heart. The author conveys sentiments and emotions in such a way that I felt Felicity’s melancholy, I felt her emptiness; her heart still has no room for another man, even though she’s making efforts to live again. Gavin, at first, tries to avoid Felicity, but they were such good friends, and he cannot stand to see her so sad; if nothing else, he endeavours to bring her some happiness, to make her smile again. And when Gavin decides to win over Felicity, is where the story becomes positively heart-wrenching, and where the author’s amazing writing skills make this story so different from the norm. I had felt Gavin’s passion for Felicity from the beginning as strongly as her grief, but I could not sense she had come to love Gavin with as much ardour; it was a difficult romance for me, until those very last pages where the author’s masterful and realistic portrayal of true love hit me, and hit me hard. All this without cloying plot twists, but in a subtle, realistic, and brilliant grasp of what real love is.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book.