A moving tale of finding one’s place
Reviewed in the United States on 28 January 2020
When life’s circumstances are altered, how to go forward when you are stripped of everything you have ever known...
Just by reading the blurb, I could not imagine how a man raised to have it all would do when he has nothing left.
I was even more impressed that the marriage law’s detail, base of the background plot, was true. How it must have impacted many many lives.
Sebastian, former duke, divested from his title and wealth is now plain Mr de Silva, a duke’s illegitimate son. So, how will he rise from this twist of fate?
Sebastian is no arrogant nor haughty man, sure for a commoner he looks like one, after all it is all he had ever known, but as a trained duke, he is rather approachable and easy to speak with.
It is certain, even disowned, his family and friends would have continued to support him, but he can’t face his previous life anymore.
In a way, he ran away from his former self, trying to dig a new road for the new Sebastian. Thus he has to relearn everything from dressing and shaving alone to the cost of things, and also to find a new purpose.
I loved him, he makes mistakes, a lot of them but he tries, he strives. He wants to prove he is worth his title, that the duke of Hasford in him is dead, only remain Sebastian. He does not want to be defined anymore by his late title, only the man he will be.
With Ivy, he thinks he has found the right path, still he is torn between his new life and his life old one when his kin wants him back.
Ivy is not the usual miss of good manners, when she could have hunker down and accepted her fate, she took charge of her own future.
After having broken every rules demanded to a woman of good breeding, she makes her owns.
She is determined to never again be at the mercy of someone else, and to offer her younger sister the choice of her own destiny, when hers have been robbed from her.
With Sebastian, she sees an opportunity for her business, but also a man who stirs feelings she has never encountered before.
Their relationship will need time to be established, with Ivy becoming his employer, they change the dynamic of their association.
Why they have up and down as they struggle to find the right pace. They are attracted to one another, but need to find a common ground to enter a more intimate bond.
It was lovely to see them interact, decide to reach for something they hadn’t expected. They struggle too as by allowing themselves to care for the other, they have to reshape their own expectations.
As a first in a series, it introduces the different protagonists we will see again in the next books, as side characters, they champion their relatives to be the best of themselves even if at time, they do not realize they push them in the wrong direction.
There is no vilain in this story, no need, when they are their worst enemy, overthinking things and muddling their feelings to the point of failing to see what was right in front of them.
I am just not able to place the cover, the yellow dress maybe but a cover with the heroine wearing a daring red gown and a mask would have been a hint.
5 stars for this sensual and romantic tale of family’s love and the resilience of the soul.
I was granted an advance copy through Edelweiss by the publisher Avon, I had previously purchased my own.
Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
8 people found this helpful