A penniless young widow with an indomitable spirit. A wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. London, 1815: After her husband’s untimely death, Letty Burton comes up from the country with her domineering mother-in-law. Hiding a past she wishes to forget and facing an uncertain future, all she wants is to navigate London Society as a silent companion. A chance meeting with London’s most eligible bachelor sets in motion a series of events that will bring her quiet life under the unfriendly scrutiny of the ton. With the net of scandal, debts, and rivals closing in, will she let her dark past dictate her life forever? Will she learn to trust again? And most importantly, will she allow herself to love?
When I was offered a chance to read this book I couldn't resist it because it sounded just like the traditional regencies I used to read and love. It had a penniless widow and a confirmed rake which are common characters in this type of stories and I jumped right into it.
The story starts with Letty Burton becoming a widow. It is apparent from the beginning that she did not have a happy marriage with her husband and that he has left her with an amount of debts that leave her near destitute. She eventually goes to live with her sister in law and once that young woman also becomes a widow she moves to London with her mother in law.
I struggled a bit with the beginning of the story because I felt that Letty and Beauford take a long time to finally meet and actually speak to one another. I also had some trouble with the characters. Letty felt a bit too good to be true, she is dignified, understanding, patient and everyone trusts her after meeting her for two minutes… Regarding Beauford I was sorry not to know more about him, he seemed like an interesting character once we got past his arrogant ways. He is not exactly amiable from the start but he does improve as he gets closer to Letty. A character that I did love was Major Deverill, Letty's friend, I was sorry not to see his happy ending come about during the course of the story.
Despite these problems, I was interested in knowing how Keyworth would make them fall for each other after a tumultuous first meeting. She does tell us about it but I wish we had spent more time seeing their relationship develop. I was surprised that we are introduced to a new secondary character and a secondary plot at some point instead of gaining deeper knowledge of them. That only made sense to me when I read the Author’s Note at the end of the book where Keyworth explains that she based her story in the Bible's Book of Ruth and gives enough information so that we can compare both stories.
This is a type of story I enjoy and I while this one didn’t totally work for me I would be interested in reading more by the author. She did keep me interested in the story and the characters. If you like Traditional Regencies and stories based on the Bible this might be a good one for you.