I have always loved reading from Gayle Callen, but I believe this is the one book that I have loved reading again and again. For me, it one of her best works. I also have loved reading this series. I have just started this blog, because I have a love of reading, and I enjoy writing. I don't know how good I am at writing though, you will have to let me know on how I do. LOL
It takes place in 1844 in Ramsgate, England, with Meriel Shelby, who is one of three daughters. Her father committed suicide; but had to hide it from everyone else and to keep it a secret so he wouldn't be disgraced. Apparently he had lost most of their money, and couldn't live with the thought of being penniless. Meriel grew up in the world of the nobility realm. She was well educated, had quality clothes; and servants in their house in town. After her father's incident, they lose their home to a cousin, Meriel is forced to become a governess, her sister Lousia a companion. Her sister Victoria was getting married; and their mother would have a place to live.
Richard,half- brother to The Duke of Thanet, is asked by his brother to take his place. Cecil is very ill, and wants to appear strong. So Richard reluctantly agree's to the masqurade. Richard and Cecil have always looked alike; like twins. So no one would be able to tell them apart by appearance. When Richard reaches the Thanet estate; he realizes it will be harder than he once thought. His nephew, whom he dearly loves; where he must try to act like his brother who has never taken the time to get to know his son. After a few mistakes, Stephen realizes its his uncle and not his father. Stephen agrees to keep the secret to himself. At the same time, Richard is bombarded with his flirt female servants. Apparently his half brother always had a female servant that was his mistress of sorts. Then when he was was tired of her, he would then set her up with enough money to live for the rest of her life in comfort. Once Richard hears of this from the housekeeper (who is like a mother to him) is shocked and knows he could never do that. So he decides to act like he has picked Meriel. Even though Meriel knows he appears to be a philandering rake; there is something deeper that develops between Richard and Meriel. A passion blooms and their feelings for each other deepen.
I really have enjoyed reading this book, and writing the review for it as well!!! Both Richard and Meriel are complex characters that captured my avid interest. Meriel is a young woman that has been well educated, close to her sisters and her parents and then her father commits suicide and the everything in her life come tumbling down around her. Meriel is a responsible woman who tries to pick up the pieces and take care of her mother and sisters. She then meets Richard, and has no idea what she really thinks about him. She has heard rumors about the 'Duke' but she realizes along the way, that Richard is vastly different from the man she hears about. Richard is utterly captivated by his nephew's governess, and although he wishes never to disrespect her in any way, he chases after her to hope to appease the household. He finds himself falling in love with Meriel all the while trying to appear to be a good "father" to his nephew. He earns to tell her his secret, that he isn't really the "Duke" but some one else entirely. The plot in this book is filled with mystery, passion, some suspense toward the end, and a tender love that grows between the two lovers that touches the readers attention.