A Kiss of Lies (The Disgraced Lords #1)
Author: Bronwen Evans
Release Date: 14 January 2014
In Bronwen Evans’s Loveswept debut, a pair of damaged souls ignite each other’s deepest passions—even as they tempt fate by deceiving the world.
Desperate to escape her abusive past, Sarah Cooper disguises herself as a governess in the employ of Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, the man who, long ago, she fantasized about marrying. Despite the battle scars that mar his face, Sarah finds being near Christian rekindles her infatuation. A governess, however, has no business in the arms of an earl, and as she accompanies Christian on his voyage home, Sarah must resist her intense desires—or risk revealing her dangerous secrets.
One of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian Trent once enjoyed the company of any woman he chose. But that was before the horrors of Waterloo, his wrongful conviction of a hideous crime, and his forcible removal from England. Far from home and the resources he once had, Christian believes the life he knew—and any chance of happiness—is over . . . until his ward’s governess sparks his heart back to life, and makes him remember the man he used to be. Now Christian is determined to return to England, regain his honor, and win the heart of the woman he has come to love.
Let's start by talking about Sarah, our heroine. She has survived some horrific things in her life, but she's come through her trials unbroken and with a gentle, kind heart. The treatment she suffered at the hands of her husband was heart breaking, the scars on her body are nothing compared to the ones he left on her soul. It's a testament to the strength of her character that she hasn't become an embittered and cynical woman, and she's one of my favourite heroines I've read about in a while.
It sounds slightly sadistic to say that I love a tortured hero, and poor Christian certainly fits the bill. After surviving a cruel attack on the battlefields of France that left him scarred and self-pitying, he has a rather cold reception in England and is accused of a heinous crime, before being forcibly sent to Canada. Underneath Christian's scars and gruff demeanor, he's the same man but he doesn't see this. He's terrified of becoming an abusive monster, like his father. Despite this, he's very sweet and compassionate. I loved how he interacted with Lily, his ward, it really shows the kind of man he is.
Sarah and Christian have a sweet, intense and healing relationship. They both bear their scars, but together they find a hope and love worth fighting for. I just adored them together, they were ideally suited and the chemistry between them was scorching. At the beginning of their physical relationship, the trust they both give to the other person was just beautiful and a little overwhelming.
From the beginning you can't help but be completely absorbed into this story. The first chapter grabs your attention and you have to know what will happen next. There is plenty of intrigue and mystery to keep your attention riveted, and the story moves at a quick pace. The mystery elements don't detract from the romance between Christian and Sarah, which is the beating heart of this story.
The puzzle over who is determined to bring about Christian's downfall is very intriguing and guarantees that I'll be reading the whole series to unravel all of the twisted threads.
Overall, I definitely recommend this to all lovers of historical romance. It's emotionally compelling and beautiful, with a gripping plot that never fails to keep you eagerly turning the pages. It's safe to say that I loved this!
*I received a review copy from the publisher, for my honest review. Thank you!
About the Author
Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She has always indulged her love of storytelling and is constantly gobbling up movies, books, and theater. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer? Evans is a two-time winner of the RomCon Readers’ Crown and has been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
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