Genre: historical romance
Cover: nice. My book has a half naked couple on it.
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has never forgiven his parents for inexplicably abandoning him to distant relatives as a child. Nevertheless, when he receives word that the stranger he calls “Mother” is gravely ill, the unabashed rogue makes a rare return to Montcliff, his country estate. There he finds that the woman is perfectly healthy – and that he has fallen for a cunning ruse crafted by her lady’s companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart. The lively vicar’s widow, too bright and beautiful not to arouse the scoundrel in Pierce, is determined to reconcile the Earl and Lady Devonmont. None of them can predict the secrets, both heartening and shocking, divulged between a mother and son, and between two lovers, each haunted by their pasts, that will make Christmas night at Montcliff one to remember – and the glorious night after, one to treasure for a lifetime.
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has never found out why his parents abandoned him to the care of relatives when he was eight years old, not even accepting him back home when he reached his majority. He was a sickly child back then and missed his mother dreadfully but she never once wrote to him. So when his father died, and his mother started writing him letters, it was too little, too late. For 23 years she has ignored him, so why should he want to see her now? She probably just needs his money. But when the companion he hired for her, writes to him, telling his mother is gravely ill and he needs to come home, he finds out that he still cares about her. And so he sets out for home, to the manor (now dower house) they lived in as a family before his father had the monstrous new manor house build. He will pay his last respects to her, and be on his way to the Waverly family for Christmas, as he has done for so many years now.
His mother is stunned but so very happy to see him, and not ill at all. So it was all a ruse to get him here? Well, he won’t play their game. He will just go to his room, have dinner there and be of the next morning. But faith in the form of Camilla Stuart intervenes. She is his mother’s companion, and she wants to mend the rift between mother and son. She has no idea what has happened in the past, but she cares deeply for his mother and wants her happy. And spending time with her son, will surely make her happy. She misses him dreadfully and there goes not a day buy she doesn’t talk about him. Sure, they do read about his exploits in the paper, but that is not the real Pierce.
To her surprise, Pierce agrees to come down to dinner, on the condition that afterwards Camilla comes to his rooms to entertain him. Refusing to share his bed with him, she agrees to entertain him otherwise, and so Pierce has no choice but to join the ladies downstairs.
His mother flat out refuses to tell him why he was cut out of her life, she just wants to bury the past and start anew, but Pierce cannot possibly do that. He needs to know the truth, or else he can never move forward with his own life. But the dowager fears he will despise and hate her even more if he knows the truth, if he will cut her out of his life again, so be it. And not even Camilla can convince her otherwise. But hearing Pierce’s recountings of the past, she does feel for him, and she believes that he is not the wrong doing party here. But still, she is loyal to his mother, and will never become his mistress… She has her son to think of too …
I really enjoyed the previous books in the Hellions of Hellstead Hall series, and I was hoping this one would pull me out of my historical romance reading slump, but alas. I did like the story, but it was nowhere near as good for me as the rest of the series. It is just lacking that certain something that makes a story a great book. And I have no idea what.
Pierce was too nice, too open, and too easy to read for Camilla. She was a stranger and saw straight into him. She did not fear him, nor his wrath at being deceived. Sure, she is a widow and not a gentle bred miss either. She grew up in the orphanage and then married a vicar who thought her a convenient hardworking wife.
I just did not fall for Camilla and Pierce as a couple either, perhaps because they kept meeting in the evenings in his bedroom, and not a lot of their time together is shared. Too much tell too little show perhaps? My emotions never really got engaged and as I am usually easily ensnared by a book, that is a bad thing.
5 stars out of 10.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian