Published by Lyrical Press on March 28th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
A riotous passion and a forbidden love jeopardize the future of the Emperors of London . . .
Ravishingly beautiful and accomplished, Helena has her pick of suitable bachelors—and because she is the only daughter of a powerful duke, her mother is determined she makes a good marriage. But Helena won’t marry any of them, because she is in love with the son of her family’s most dangerous enemy. Though she has now been rebuffed by her beloved, she is resolved to win him back—no matter the cost.
Tom’s forbidden love for Helena has only intensified over the years of their separation. But the discovery of his true roots has changed everything. His secret spells danger for his family and everyone he loves. Devoted to Helena, he will sacrifice anything—even his one great love—to keep her safe. And soon, caught between warring factions and hounded by a deadly assassin, the couple will be swept back together in a fight for their lives, and their destiny….
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Wild Lavender is the seventh book in The Emperors of London series by Lynne Connolly. Although part of a series it can be read as a stand alone book. Personally I have only read one other book from the series, but I am determined to read them all.
Helena and Tom’s family have been at war with each other for years, with both believing it’s because Tom and his family are Jacobites, whereas Helena’s aren’t. A chance meeting at a social event see Tom and Helen in a room on their own where they end up sharing a passionate kiss. Talk about lust at first sight! They are caught, but fortunately only by Helena’s brother who has no intention of forcing a marriage upon them, that would be his biggest nightmare.
Even knowing that their families would hate it and definitely not allow it, Helena and Tom can’t stay away from each other and meet in secret. Their love and lust for each other know no bounds and they decide they will marry in secret and find a way to run away together. Neither want to leave their family, but they must if they want any chance of happiness together.
During their preparations to run away together, and after the marriage, Tom’s father deals him an horrific blow. He learns something about himself that makes him realise that he can’t run away with Helena. He can’t tell her what it is, so he makes out that he was only messing with her as a way to hurt her family, but when he realised she would be hurt too, he couldn’t go through with it. He says they aren’t really married and then he leaves London so he isn’t tempted to see her again. All that happens in part one of the book.
Part two takes place 5 years later. Helena is still unmarried, believing herself still married to Tom, and also still being in love with him. She turns down all potential suitors which pleases her mother. She wants her to be a companion to her in her old age, and is quite happy that she can soon make demands that her daughter move home with her. Helena wants to live an independent life and her brother Lucius is willing to give her enough money to be able to do that. Unfortunately a scandal happens which means that she has no choice but to move back in with her mother, or quickly find a man who will marry her despite the scandal.
Helena desperately needs Tom to own up to their being married, and she desperately wants to be with him still, but with his secret still between them he still remains unreachable. Or is he?? When something happens that makes her realise that he must still have feelings for her she decides to figure out what is holding him back. Will she find out and if she does, will it be too late. Somebody seems to want her dead, or do they? Can Tom keep her safe, he will always love her even if he believes they can’t be together, and he will never allow harm to come to her.
It’s so hard to write about this fabulous book without giving spoilers, suffice to say that there are twists and turns you just don’t see coming. There is danger and excitement and plenty of chance for Tom to be the ultimate hero. There are some fabulously steamy yet romantic scenes between him and Helena, and there are some heart breaking scenes too. This book makes the reader run the gamut of emotions and there is never a dull moment. At one point in the book when we find out why Tom won’t run away with Helena my heart felt like it might stop! How could they possibly have their happy ever after, I just couldn’t see how. Thankfully the author could though, and I was left most content by the end of the book. You just have to love a book with a happy ending.
I absolutely recommend this book, and as soon as I get chance I am definitely going to read the rest in the series.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.