on February 12, 2019
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Regina (Reggie) Spark has loved Broderick Killoran, the resourceful and protective proprietor of the Devil’s Den, ever since he saved her from the streets and made her his right hand at the notorious gaming hell. For just as long, Reggie has never admitted her true feelings for him. Nor has she revealed her spirited ambitions—to buck convention and expectations and open a music hall.
While Broderick built his gaming empire with ruthless cunning, his loyalty to his employees is boundless. So when he learns of Reggie’s plan to leave his side and take charge of her own future, the betrayal cuts Broderick to the core. He responds as he would to any business rival…with swift retribution.
Instead of wilting, the savvy Reggie rebounds with a fury that shocks Broderick and stirs a desire he’s been holding in reserve for only ladies of nobility. But as their seductive battle of wills ignites under the harsh spotlight of the London Season, secrets are exposed as well—ones that could be ruinous in decent society but invaluable for the heart.
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
I’ve been salivating for Broderick’s book for a long time. A boy who’d once been pampered and then orphaned. He’d grown up on the streets of 7 Dials then made a name for himself in the Diggory gang. Now a proprietor and leader of London’s underworld, he was feared by many. A lot of people, characters and readers alike, didn’t like the choices and actions he made, thinking he put connections to Society before his own family. That his actions were driven by self-preservation. But I always believed he made those tough choices for the sake of his family. His family’s survival meant more to him than his own existence. And that’s abundantly clear in The Governess, #3 in Christi Caldwell’s Wicked Wallflower series. When Broderick faces retribution for past actions, he is literally brought to his knees, at risk of losing everything, clinging to the world he’d built with his bare hands. And in the face of that demise, all pride and all fear of failure fall away, leaving only what is truly important.
Regina Sparks had loved Broderick Killoran for years. He’d rescued her, a scared girl, from the streets of London. The Killoran family had become the family she’d lost. And she’d devoted her life to caring for the Killoran children and working as Broderick’s assistant. But he’d never seen her as anything more than that role and so Reggie was making plans to leave, start her own business venture with the help of other Devil’s Den employees.
Broderick had always trusted and relied on Reggie. He counted her as his friend and confidante. Theirs was an easy, comfortable relationship. When suddenly he starts to see her as more, not an employee, not a friend, but a beautiful and desirable woman, he’s confused and unsettled. He couldn’t lust over someone in his employ. That would make him as vile as his father had been. And when Broderick discovers Reggie’s business plans, he feels betrayed. With anyone else, he would destroy them, send them away. But he couldn’t toss Reggie out with her knowing everything she did. What is it they say about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer?
But Reggie is no longer the meek, timid girl Broderick had rescued 10 years ago. Broderick had helped her see her own strength and worth, and she’d transformed into someone indomitable. Broderick didn’t know how fearless and spirited she was. Unlike others, who cowered in his presence, Reggie was unafraid, undaunted, and breathtaking in her fury. What follows is a seductive battle of wills with long-buried secrets revealed. And Broderick finds himself facing more than the inevitable loss of power, wealth, and control. He faces losing a dream he’d not known he had till Reggie.
I have been intrigued by Broderick Killoran for so long and this book made me fall head over heels for him. He’d endured so much to get to the point where he was. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to ensure his family was cared for. For him, that meant giving them the security not afforded to those outside the illustrious ranks of the peerage. Even facing his demise, assuring his family had a safe and secure place in the world was his only concern. That meant finding a suitor for Gertrude, the last of his sisters. For Broderick, wealth, power, and connections were what defined a person. He’d lived so long by that belief. But you can live your whole life without realizing what’s right in front of you, and it took the threat of losing it all for Broderick to realize that none of it mattered without Reggie there to share it.
I absolutely adored Reggie. What a fearless, courageous woman! Her business venture was a means of self-preservation, not greed. And I loved that she chose a business that would help to empower women who were presented no options in life. She had such a loving spirit. Even when being cut from the fabric of the Killoran family, she risked entering a world she’d vowed to never set foot in again, facing the greatest mistake of her life to protect Gertrude. She bore the mistrust and scorn of those she called family and still wanted to help them. Even with the tension between her and Broderick, and the mistrust of the Killoran family, she’d not sow seeds of discontent among them.
For all Broderick and Reggie had shared over the years, most of who they really were remained a mystery to the other. It took courage and trust to share their pasts with one another. I ached for Reggie when I read what had happened to her as a girl. I ached even more for her as she confessed it all to Broderick. I ached for Broderick when he realized how empty his life had been. The fear that he’d let his siblings down. The sheer terror of all he faced was painful to read but it helped him realize the man he wanted to be. What truly defined a man.
I adore anything Christi Caldwell writes. Her stories are timeless, vibrant, and memorable. They’re more than love stories. They’re life stories. She captures all the variations of emotions from pure joy to the darkest moments of the human condition. The emotional message and the way the characters’ stories culminate are cathartic and inspiring. These stories can hit you in the gut and leave you dissolving in a puddle of tears, but the ending feels so much more satisfying knowing what the characters have gone through to get to their HEA.
Fans of Christi Caldwell and this series will be thrilled with Broderick and Reggie’s story. For those who haven’t read Christi Caldwell before, if you haven’t bawled over one of her stories, you haven’t lived.