Our heroine has a beautiful spirit. She was taught well by a loving mother who said. “Temper gets you into trouble, but pride keeps you there.” But it seems she needs to relearn this gem of wisdom.
Title: A Kiss of Lies The Disgraced Lords , book 1
Author: Bronwen Evans
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: England, 1815; Canada, 1816
Published by: Loveswept
Published Date: January 14, 2014
About the Story:
In Bronwen Evans’s Loveswept debut, a pair of damaged souls ignite each other’s deepest passions—even as they tempt fate by deceiving the world.
Desperate to escape her abusive past, Sarah Cooper disguises herself as a governess in the employ of Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, the man who, long ago, she fantasized about marrying. Despite the battle scars that mar his face, Sarah finds being near Christian rekindles her infatuation. A governess, however, has no business in the arms of an earl, and as she accompanies Christian on his voyage home, Sarah must resist her intense desires—or risk revealing her dangerous secrets. One of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian Trent once enjoyed the company of any woman he chose. But that was before the horrors of Waterloo, his wrongful conviction of a hideous crime, and his forcible removal from England. Far from home and the resources he once had, Christian believes the life he knew—and any chance of happiness—is over . . . until his ward’s governess sparks his heart back to life, and makes him remember the man he used to be. Now Christian is determined to return to England, regain his honor, and win the heart of the woman he has come to love.
My Thoughts: A story of unquestionable sensual love scenes, yet for all that, it is a story of mystery and suspense tying the reader to hopes dashed and lives ruined. Each of The Libertine Scholars are very different, however extremely loyal to each other. Someone is out to do them harm.
Both hero and heroine have pasts where judged wrongly, for crimes not committed.
The first scene is full of action, putting fear into this reader’s heart and then left me asking questions. There is no way I could walk away from what was happening.
Christian Trent, the first of the Libertine Scholars attacked, is a man horribly scarred from the wars. Scarred from the outside, he still holds a heart of compassion. He becomes the ward to a young girl, Lily. He is used to being shunned since the war, but losing the place in a woman’s arms, has damaged his spirit. Can a person really get passed having people stare at a deformity?
While Christian was terribly scarred, Sarah Cooper was terribly beautiful. Sarah carried scars just as deep, if not deeper, from an atrocious marriage. She answers the advertisement for a governess for his ward. She holds secrets which must remain so and is determined to get the position. She needs to find a haven where she won’t be found.
The ward, Miss Lily, is a sweet thing and very straight forward with her remarks. Out of the mouth of babes…
Sarah didn’t notice that the Earl had st0od up when she entered. He must think her silly, standing in the doorway with a dreamy look on her face. But when she raised her eyes to his face and saw the same warmth he’d shown Lily reflected back at her, pinpricks of pleasure needled her skin.
“Mrs. Cooper, you look lovely this evening. Doesn’t she, Lily?”
Lily nodded. “Mrs. Cooper’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.” Her smile faltered and she moved to open the locket at her neck. “Except Mama, of course.”
Sarah bent down to study the image. “You look just like her.” She tapped her finger on Lily’s little nose. “You’ll be as beautiful as your mother when you’re older.”
Lily giggled. “I hope so. Then I can marry a man as perfect as Lord Markham. I’d ask him to wait for me to grow up, but I think he should marry you, because he’s lonely and you make him smile.”
Returning to England seemed to be the perfect solution to Sarah. But she wasn’t aware she would be attracted so strongly to Christian. She felt safe, something she hadn’t felt in a long time. Christian couldn’t believe she was a woman who didn’t fear his physical deformity. Poignant trust, and passionate feelings grow between the two, but will dangerous circumstances take it all away?
This story was a wonderful beginning to a five book series. Ms. Evans introduces the rest of the Libertine Scholars. They are a spirited lot and shall be fun to follow.
About the Author: (courtesy of author’s website) USA Today Bestselling author, Bronwen Evans (Bron), loves story-telling – gobbling up movies, reading books and attending the theater. Her head is always filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer.
Bronwen attended Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand earning a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Administration, majoring in Marketing and Accounting. She was all set on building herself a business career (which she did along the way).
But life never turns out exactly as one thinks. After working for a few years in marketing roles within New Zealand financial institutions, she left for a 6 month overseas experience in London, England. She loved England. She spent several years living in London, using it as a base to be able to work and travel from. She visited all four corners of the world. Her most interesting trips were a camel safari in the Sahara, a trip through Russia, a safari through Africa with her mother, and three months in the Mediterranean.
It was while living and working in London she discovered the offices of Mills & Boon and the germ of an idea to embark on a romance writing career was born.
Almost eight years later, on her return to New Zealand, encouraged by a close friend battling a life-threatening illness, Bronwen finally started down the path to publication by joining RWA, The Beau Monde, RWAustralia and RWNZ.
Bronwen’s first manuscript, INVITATION TO RUIN, was completed late 2009, and was sold to Kensington Publishing early 2010, in a two book deal. Her debut novel, INVITATION TO RUIN, received a 4.5 star rating from RT Book Reviews and was nominated in the RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards – Best First Historical. Invitation to Ruin was also won the RomCon Readers Crown Best Historical 2012.
Bron’s since gone on to win the RomCon Readers Crown three times. Her first book in her Disgraced Lords series hit the USA Today bestsellers list and she has hit it several times since.
She lives in New Zealand in sunny Hawkes Bay with her two Cavoodles named Brandy and Duke.