on December 4, 2018
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She’s the unlikely wallflower of the extraordinary Shaw family. A woman who will never marry, but not for the reasons you might think . . .
Attacked on the streets of London, Lady Livia Shaw is relieved when a gentleman comes to her aid—and startled to discover her rescuer is Adrian, the Duke of Preston, a notorious rogue. But their association—and instant attraction—does not end there, much to the Shaws’ distress. For Livia was robbed of a memento—one that is both her most precious possession and a reminder of a shameful secret. It is a secret she knows will cause her to lose Adrian forever, yet he is determined to track down the thief . . . Adrian never wanted to be anyone’s hero, but now he’s finding the prospect as pleasing as he does Livia’s company, and her beauty. Certainly he wants her in his bed, but what surprises him is how much she comes to mean to him. Which is why the revelation of her scandalous past is nearly his undoing. Arrogantly, he had assumed only he had the power to shock. But it is too late to turn back, and now Adrian may have to risk everything for Livia, even his heart . . .
~~Review by Amy~~
I loved Dru and Oliver’s story in the previous book of this series but Boundless featuring Dru’s twin, Livia, was even better. The best in the series in my opinion. Like Dru’s story, Boundless is an adrenaline-charged read with steamy love scenes and humorous moments. But this book has a few dark and shocking revelations. Exactly what one would expect from the scandalous Shaw family. And I love dark!
Lady Livia Shaw is thankful to be rescued after being attacked on the London streets. Until she comes eye to eye with her rescuer. Adrian Sterling, Duke of Preston was the most scandalous peer in London. And Livia knew quite a bit about scandal, coming from the infamous Shaw family. Still, when Livia discovers that her brooch was lost in the attack, she turns to Adrian to recover it. Not only is the brooch a precious memento, it’s also the last link she had to a secret that had haunted her for years. Adrian was quite taken with Livia and insisted on tracking down the lost memento. Something niggled at him about her attachment to the brooch and the prospect of finding out what she was hiding intrigued him. With each encounter, they became more entranced with one another and began to see each other in a different light. Despite his appalling reputation, Livia saw a vulnerability in Adrian’s eyes. He was cynical to the world but when he smiled at her, she saw warmth, humor, and kindness. He was a man of far more integrity than she’d expected. Adrian was, of course, enamored with Livia’s beauty but there was more about her that affected him. He liked her independent spirit, her ability to fight back. For the first time since his wife died, he considered the prospect of remarrying. He couldn’t fight the desire to kiss her so he gave in to it. And Livia couldn’t help but reciprocate. Repeatedly. As much as they desired each other though, they knew they should walk away. Adrian couldn’t marry anyone. He was tainted. His disreputable behavior and defiled blood would prove scandalous for any woman. Livia felt she wasn’t for anyone. The secret she’d held dormant for so many years would turn any suitor away. She should send him away. Not be having thoughts she shouldn’t have. With each encounter, the attraction grew and soon they were the center of attention in the ton. Adrian wanted Livia and was eager to marry her so she might avoid scandal. But it was more than just saving her reputation. He’d never wanted a wife who would affect him personally but he wanted Livia. And now that he was ready, she wasn’t. They would marry. He just had to persuade her. He also needed to find out what secret was holding her back. And he needed to share his own.
I’ve loved Livia since the last book. She’s so loyal and protective of her family. I came to love her even more in this book. She’d been drowning under a secret for years. Guilt over what had happened weighed heavily on her heart. She felt no man would ever want her and she’d accepted that. But Adrian made her wish for more. She had deliberately put away attraction and desire for 10 years, but she felt it with Adrian. He made her feel pretty and desirable. He was comforting. She trusted him. But could she trust him with the truth?
Adrian broke my heart. So many in society wanted to bring him down but were coldly polite to him because of his rank. He didn’t show that society’s opinion affected him but it had. His anger and sense of injustice at society’s treatment of him drove him to be outrageous. That recklessness only made him stand out more and fueled the gossip. He’d been happy to live alone. Until Livia. She brought lightness to his soul. She gave him a reason to want to be a better man. If only he could get her to trust him with her secret. But was he ready to trust her with his own?
This was such a beautiful story of overcoming tragic pasts and creating a beautiful and hopeful future. I loved the buildup of Adrian and Livia’s relationship. They were attracted instantly and watching them try to resist their feelings was fun but I most loved watching their friendship develop. Once they were able to trust completely and share their burdens, their love grew even deeper. And boy were there some secrets to share! The revelations in the last few chapters really built up my angst and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The stakes got higher toward the end and I was starting to worry how much these two would have to endure before they got their HEA.
While this book can be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading the entire series. You’ll love reading about this family that skirts scandal on a regular basis. Each book is filled with complicated characters and intriguing plots dealing with power, passion, family, and deeds and consequences. I’m hoping there’s a book for Darius and Andrew soon. I can’t get enough of this family!