on August 28, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
In Anabelle Bryant's wickedly romantic new series, secrets and seduction go hand in hand...
Lunden Beckford, Duke of Scarsdale, has chosen to exile himself far from London, with its painful memories and cruel gossip. Forced back to town on business, he's eager to make his stay as brief as possible. But first, he must honor his promise to find a suitable husband for his friend's little sister. On one hand, Amelia Strathmore has grown into a stunning, statuesque beauty. On the other, the willful chit is more likely to scandalize a drawing room with her outspoken opinions than blush prettily. At least she agrees to accept his help—if he fulfillscertain conditions.
Though duty-bound to marry, Amelia longs to secretly enjoy some of life's freedoms first. In this, as in many things, Lunden proves an excellent guide. In fact, Amelia's girlhood admiration for her brother's friend is fast becoming something far less innocent. Lunden believes he's known too much darkness to offer any woman happiness. Yet Amelia is starting to see how much pleasure can lie within the right partnership—especially if one is willing to be a little wicked.
Had she pledged her soul to the devil? Scarsdale claimed an unscrupulous reputation and she not only bargained, but aligned with him to work toward a common goal. Marriage. Something she did not desire, but would be forced to accept. Was it wrong of her to want love? The duke would never understand. His opinion of the emotion left her flabbergasted.
Before he’d reconsider their agreement, Amelia rushed to her bedchamber and flipped through the pages of her journal intent on finding the list in question. Measuring her eagerness, she gently tore the page from the stitched binding and hurried downstairs to Matthew’s study. No gentleman would agree to such outlandish behavior, not even one rumored to disregard propriety, but she fanned the flames of hope nonetheless, determined to latch onto an opportunity to accomplish her goal.
Her boots could not carry her fast enough and she returned to the study, relieved to find Lunden remained. Had she thought he would flee? This man who left the city amidst outrageous scandal a decade ago and never once looked back.
Anna is giving away a swag pack and an autographed copy of the book
or if preferred, an e-book – which she is happy to send through Amazon.
Comment with your answer to this question to be entered…
Can you keep a secret or can’t you resist sharing with a friend?
Are you good at keeping a secret or would you rather not know because then it’s hard to keep it quiet?
If you enjoy historical romance and would like to hear more about Anabelle’s novels,
HUGE RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY…
You won’t want to miss it!!!
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
I was so excited when I heard Anabelle Bryant had a new book coming out. When I found out it was a whole new series, I was practically giddy with anticipation. If the rest of her Midnight Secrets series is even half as good as London’s Wicked Affair, I will be one extremely happy girl. This deliciously crafted love story full of passion, wit, and intrigue is a shining example of why Anabelle Bryant is a rising star in historical romance.
Lunden Beckford, Duke of Scarsdale, had managed for 10 years to stay away from London with its cruel gossip and painful memories surrounding the death of his brother, Douglas. He was forced to return however to finally settle his brother’s estate and see to the sale of Douglas’ townhouse. To avoid society, Lunden decided to stay with Matthew Strathmore, Earl of Whittingham. His oldest and only friend and a man who still suffered from the bullet he’d taken for Lunden. Matthew was dealing with his own problems as well and requested Lunden’s help. His sister, Amelia, was resisting all matchmaking attempts, and Matthew required Lunden’s influence to help marry her off while their ailing father was still alive. When Lunden met Amelia, she was no longer the young girl he remembered but had matured into a breathtakingly beautiful woman. And a headstrong woman as well. It seemed Amelia wouldn’t agree to any matchmaking prospects until Lunden agreed to help her with a short list of requests. Things she wished to experience before losing her freedom to marriage. Her choices pricked Lunden’s curiosity so he agreed. Once he met her demands and his business was resolved, he’d leave London forever. There were too many memories he’d wished abandoned. Nothing could keep him there.
He didn’t count on the effect each encounter with Amelia would have on him though. Something about her calmed his restless soul. Unfortunately, something about her also stirred his desire. “One look at her and every wall of defence, carefully constructed over years of seclusion, threatened to fracture.” Not only would it make him the worst sort of friend to lust after his best friend’s sister, but Amelia deserved more. No matter how time faded memories, scandal was always a whisper away. He’d do best to keep his head around her. How he’d fulfill her requirements and maintain his dignity was beyond him. She was a danger and a temptation. He’d come to London to make his life less complicated, but Amelia Strathmore had managed to make it more so.
Lunden and Amelia were just two of those kind of characters you can’t help but love. I fell in love with Lunden when he agreed to Amelia’s requests/demands. He didn’t just want to be free of the task. He recognized that she acted out of fear and he wanted to help her. He understood her objection to being manipulated and was convinced that she, like him, kept a silent secret. I ached for him and the guilt he carried surrounding the death of his brother and Matthew’s injury. He’d only been a boy when his parents died. He’d had no one to comfort him then or after the death of his brother. He was left to deal with it alone. He’d carried that burden for 10 years. That’s why Amelia’s effect on him confused him. He struggled between desire and self- recrimination. He’d carried guilt, regret, and unworthiness for so long, he was confused by the peace and pleasure he found in Amelia’s arms.
I fell in love with Amelia the moment she stole those two puzzle pieces from her brother just to annoy him. The fact that she set a would-be suitor’s crotch on fire only solidified my love for her. I loved her zest for life. Even when dealing with her brother’s insistence that she marry, she wanted to bring joy to her best friend Charlotte and to Lunden. She felt powerless because of Matthew’s machinations. She only wanted control of her life and she was quite outspoken in requesting it. I couldn’t help but cheer for her. Lunden was the only one who seemed willing to help her get that control. He listened to her and agreed to her list of requests. He intrigued her. Why did he hide and lead such a private existence? He was a man of deep emotion but never allowed himself joy. She wanted to make him happy. I loved watching the two of them discover that, in spite of what they thought fate had planned for them, they were meant for each other.
I loved that nothing was rushed in this story. The slow discovery of the events surrounding Douglas’ death helped me appreciate the guilt Lunden felt and his need for secrecy. I loved the way his and Amelia’s relationship evolved too. There was a growing attraction there, of course, but I also loved seeing their trust in one another evolve and their desire for the other’s happiness.
The secondary characters added so much to the story as well. I’m anxious to read Lady Charlotte’s story. She’s so unhappy in her marriage and I’m curious to find out why Lord Dearing is being such an ass. Anabelle Bryant has her work cut out for her redeeming this character with me. And redeeming Matthew. He lost sight of what mattered most in this story and made some cruel choices. He’ll have to prove himself to me before I decide he needs an HEA. I can’t wait to see how Ms. Bryant makes me love these two again.
This series promises to be exquisite. No one writes historical romance like Anabelle Bryant. Her attention to detail and her ability to create true to life, loveable characters is unmatched. I promise your pulse will race with this story. The passion was to die for and the intrigue and secret dealings will keep you turning the pages. If you’ve read Ms. Bryant before, you will fall in love with this new series. If you’re new to her books, stretch out on your fainting couch, grab those smelling salts, and prepare to swoon.