Release Date: Jun 30, 2020
Series: Rogues and Remarkable Women
Heat Level: Sensual
Imprint: Zebra Books
Riley crafts a suspenseful and inspiring romance with this first in a new series.
I’ve read Riley books before. Her Advertisements for Love series was absolutely stunning in characters and plot so I had to read this latest story when I saw the cover.
The Widow’s Grace, an organization that helps women who have been stripped of their children or their lives, is Patience Jordan’s only hope. She’s lost everything: her husband, her home, and her child. Thrown into bedlam, she’s rescued by the organization only to begin the tricky navigation of reclaiming what belongs to her and it starts by pretending to be her child’s nanny.
Enter Busick, the Duke of Repington, a leader in Wellingtons army on leave to convalesce from injuries sustained on the battlefield. His ward is the nephew of his recently deceased cousin and he’ll do anything to raise the boy right at his grandfather’s home, Hamlin. Except he doesn’t expect Mrs. Jordan, his cousin’s widow, nor does he plan to become enamored of her long before he discovers her identity.
Characterization is something Riley does with masterful success, from Patience’s impatience and her fierce bravery to Repington’s desperate need to stay in control of his life as well as his body, there is a quick connection to each of the main protagonists. Additionally, Riley is always good at writing a villain, especially when there are too real examples roaming around the world today.
I also enjoyed the historical elements that got me googling about Demerara, curses to the history books for not even speaking of this place and how influential it was to colonizers due to it’s sugarcane. There are a ton of additional historical elements weaved in and as a history lover that helped hook me. The icing on the cake is Riley’s way with words, they flow and have this lovely cadence to them. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the dialogue and internal descriptions.
There were a few things that annoyed me, these included the jump from point of view. First person for the heroine and third person for the hero constantly threw me a bit. I even went back and looked to see if I was going crazy that we were bouncing between the too. Looking back I think the idea was to give Patience more agency, but it jarred me. Another thing that ticked me off was the quick dismissal of the ghost. Yes, there is this little subplot and throughout the story several women mention seeing ghosts at some point and the men just dismiss it and act like the women are hysterical. Cue my internal urge to smack some men. Similar things go on with items missing, objects being tampered with and everyone telling Patience to just be at ease and calm. Let me throw things, please. I get this was the mentality of the time *coughs* but it was super annoying.
Overall, this is a great intro to a new series from Riley and I will definitely be picking up book two, which is all about Patience’s friend, Jemina. For readers who enjoy Sherry Thomas or Grace Burrowes.