“Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh, Sharon Cullen’s captivating novel tells the deeply emotional tale of two devoted lovers facing the ravages of war.” ~ Amazon
Title: Saving Grace Secrets & Seduction Series, book 4
Author: Sharon Cullen
Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian
Story Setting: England, 1855
Published by: Loveswept
Published Date: December 23, 2014
Sold by: Random House LLC
Secrets & Seduction Series, in order:
Official Summary of the Story:
For months now, Lady Grace Ashworth has mourned the death of her beloved husband—until the day a very-much-alive Michael arrives at her front door. It’s nothing less than a miracle. However, Grace soon realizes that this Michael isn’t the same man who left for the Crimean War. She’s stunned to learn that he has suffered a devastating head injury. Putting all her own desires aside, Grace resolves to devote herself to Michael’s recovery and to love him no matter what troubles may come. Convinced that his wife is wasting her time on a broken man, Michael attempts to shield Grace from a life of inconvenience by driving her away. But Grace will have none of that. Despite every obstacle Michael throws in her path, she stubbornly soldiers on, fighting not only for their marriage but for the love they once shared. In the end, will her determination alone be enough to save Michael from the darkness that threatens to consume him?
My Thoughts: Sharon Cullen writes very memorable and deeply emotional stories with unique plots and heart-riveting expressive inner conflict and dialog. This particular read is no less than the others I’ve read of the series. She begins her stories with action, intrigue and immediately the reader will be asking why this situation occurs and soon she has trapped your mind, and later your soul, much like the hero and heroine are trapped.
Lady Grace Ashworth lives up to her name of Grace. An elegant, compassionate, strong woman who has not let losing her husband drag her into oblivion, even when her brother-in-law works stridently to do so. But she is a woman who is desperately alone and only has so many choices in her life. Nigel, the new earl of Blackbourne was the very epitome of greed. He wants all money to his coffers since he enjoys debauchery and gambling to the extreme, which costs him plenty. To rid himself of Lady Grace, he’d get her out of the dowager house without her allotted inheritance quite simply by marrying her off. Grace agrees, rather reluctantly because she was at a point someone is better than no one.
Then, Michael comes back, not her Michael, yet it was he. War hadn’t maimed him physically, it did something many people can’t understand. It injured his brain. Michael was prone to overpowering headaches, anger and unbelievable pain for he knew he wasn’t the same man. His short-term memory was injured and loud noises sent him into panic. Michael came back for one reason. He felt if he returned to Grace, somehow all would be well.
His return changed a lot. Michael’s brother was out to show he was incompetent to be the earl which further aggravated the environment he returned to. This story was about learning to live with changes, knowing the power of love, understanding that some things in life can’t be changed while others can, that love is not something you choose, it chooses you.
Sharon Cullen is a relatively new author with a great capacity to entertain with some very thought-provoking stories. The themes she uses are very appropriate in our contemporary times. I’ll be reading and reviewing the last in her series, SEBASTIAN’S LADY SPY, next month.
After this read, you may like to understand more about the Crimean War. This is the war that Lord Michael Blackbourne returned from with his very wise friend, Tarik who was a Cossack, also a victim of the treachery of war. Here’s a link which will briefly mentioned why the war was fought and who were fighting. http://www.britannica.com/event/Crimean-War
About the Author: After earning a degree in journalism from Ohio University Sharon found that the stories inside her head were more interesting than what was going on in the world around her. Yet, it wasn’t until years later that she decided to pursue her secret dream of writing a romance novel. Since then she’s been published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance. The Notorious Lady Anne is her first historical romance.
Sharon’s other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.
If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her blog or her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion–books.