There are some disturbing images in this work but ultimately, it is a well-written period piece with light bondage. The heroine’s circumstances may be typical of the times but they make for a sad setting.
Eden Emery’s life in the English countryside has been anything but idyllic or peaceful. The events since her mother’s second marriage to Baron Hartford are progressively catastrophic. When she’s forced into servicing her disreputable stepfather, she feels that she is deserving of her fate as an unmarried, “fallen” woman. When the baron drops dead, she is scared but also relieved and her only concern is caring for her dying sister. Enter the new young baron and their requisite misunderstanding, which leads them to almost miss their path to love. Hart went into Wellington’s army in an effort to escape the debauched lives of his uncle and father, both notorious. Unfortunately Eden’s life is forever tainted by that same uncle. Once Hart realizes that she was truly his victim, he sets out to make amends and eventually convince her of her worth. His methods are unorthodox but his heart is in the right place. (HEAT, Jun., 294 pp., $15.00)