Charlotte Tremaine was overwhelmed with the excess that her cousin Lydia was heaping on her. She had done what Charlotte could not, had left her mother Lavinia behind to find a new way in life away from Rivenhall. Charlotte could not help but think Lydia was somehow chagrined to find Lavinia had left everything to her, her niece, and not her own daughter. But then again she had been the one to stay and put up with her aunt while her cousin found a new husband that kept her very happy.
William Stanton and Lord Grayson Warrington, Earl of Warrington, were the reasons she had stayed, the reasons she could never face leaving Rivenhall. It had been forever since she had heard from her two best friends but she was determined to stay and wait for them to return home from the army before setting out to a season on the ton she never wanted. With their return she could only hope to finally be able to choose between the two, but with one man pushing her away to find a man who deserved her, the decision was made for her when the other man welcomed her back into his life with open arms.
William knew why Grayson pushed away the one person he believed would understand without question if their secret was ever disclosed but he still wanted Charlotte, still embraced her, still craved her love and devotion. Grayson could not put behind him the complications that the war had forced the two men to accept. He loved Charlotte but he equally loved William. He could never make her stand beside him as wife when he wanted both of them in his bed. It would be better to push her away than let her find out his depraved desires and let her see the true colors of the men who both loved her.
Facing the truth was complicated when another threat, a deadly one, forces them to join together to uncover those behind the turmoil. Charlotte cannot give up hope that somehow she can find a way to stay in the lives of the men she loves and it will take the ultimate deception to make them all see that the only way to save them all is for them to bind together and work, and love, as one.
I teared up with emotion through the entire first part of this book. Sadness, regret, and heartache were emotions that literally showered the pages as the lovers’ reunions were played out. I devoured this offering and was stunned by the twists and turns of the plotline as the lovers forged through the duplicity together and found the path to a life of love and trust together.