Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…
Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.
A new series from Mary Balogh–woot! I adore her writing 🙂
I loved Anna from page one–how could I not? Raised in an orphanage from the age of four, she didn’t even know her birth name, let alone where she came from, for more than twenty years. At twenty-five, she’s of course aged out of the institution, but has stayed on as its teacher: she’s been happy there, has friends, and loves working with the children there. And then the letter that will change her life forever is delivered…
Avery was a bit harder to love at first. He’s not exactly your typical Regency hero–sure, he’s a duke and therefore wealthy and powerful, but he’s also slight, wiry, and “pretty”. His own father told him he might as well have been a girl. It was harder to get to know him, but that was by design–since the age of nine, when he was sent away to school, he’s made a point of hiding his true self from everyone around him. We, like Anna, only get to know him a bit at a time.
But once he lets her in….
I loved that Anna didn’t let her wealth change her much, and that that’s one of the things that so drew Avery to her. Their romance is slow moving, but delicious. My only complaint is that after almost 400 pages I wasn’t anywhere near ready to say goodbye to them. Here’s hoping we see a lot of them in series books to come, because I didn’t come close to getting my fill. 🙂
There are so many wonderful secondary characters in this series, and I really hope Ms. Balogh decides to write about them all: Anna’s half siblings Camille (her book’s next! Can’t wait), Abigail, and Harry; the new-new duke Alex (as opposed to the old-new duke, poor Harry) and his sister Elizabeth; and by the time they’ve all had their happy endings, it should be just about time for Avery’s half sister Jessica to be out of the nursery and ready for her own book.
In the meantime, I’m counting the days until February 7…
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.