Title: The Lost Lord of Castle Black The Lost Lords Series, Book 1
Author: Chasity Bowlin
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: September 7, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
An exciting new Regency Historical Romance series!
Graham, Lord Blakemore, was believed to be lost at sea as a boy. While his mother, Lady Agatha, has never given up hope of finding her son again, others—eager for the title and the wealth that accompanies it—have been conspiring to have him declared dead against Lady Agatha’s wishes. Her only ally in the house is her late husband’s ward, Miss Beatrice Marlowe.
But when a dark-haired stranger arrives on their doorstep claiming to be the lost heir to Castle Black, the plots and schemes of those who would have the castle for themselves take a dark and even more sinister turn.
An orphan when she came into the care of the late Lord Blakemore, Castle Black is the only home Beatrice has ever known. Its occupants are her family. This stranger, who claims to have lost his memory of his life there, threatens the order of all that she knows and holds dear. And yet, she is both drawn to him and strangely compelled to believe his claim. Beatrice finds herself torn between her desire for him and her belief that, if he is the lost lord of Castle Black, he is far above her reach.
Graham is no ordinary gentleman, bound by the rules of a society he has spent his life far removed from. He’s willing to face not just the danger that lurks within the walls of Castle Black, but anyone who stands between him and what he wants. He has returned to claim his destiny and, for him, Beatrice is part of that. While all else has been forgotten, he knows her to the depths of his soul. More than the castle itself, more than the strangely familiar and rugged land it sits upon, she is his home and he means to claim her.
My favorite quote:
Whatever is between us isn’t in spite of who you are, it’s because of who you are!”
Graham, the young son of Lady and Lord Blakemore was lost at sea, some 18 years past. Lady Agatha has mourn the emptiness in her life, but has never given up on him being alive and returning, even when her Lord Blakemore passed away, still she won’t give up.
Edmund, married to Eloise (who is quite the harlot) badgers his aunt to do the necessary paperwork to admit Graham is dead. She is frail, her health has been failing for the last two months. Edmund talks of ruination for the castle because funds are insufficient.
Lady Agatha has a second son, Christopher, half-brother to Graham, who is rather a sullen boy, keeping much to himself, seen sneaking off to town or up to the tower. What has he to do with the tower?
Beatrice Marlowe, also part of the household was Edmund’s and Graham’s playmate when they were all children. Now Edmund sees her as his plaything, the only thing he thinks she’s good for. He’s not the boy he was, but a man of anger and frustration. Beatrice loves Lady Agatha and wants only to protect her. She fears if she weren’t there protecting the elder woman, she would simply cave in to Edmund’s demands because they are relentless.
Were it not for Lady Agatha, she’d have been tossed out into the streets long ago. Edmund had made no effort to hide his disdain for her. During their ugly encounter that night in the corridor, he’d made it abundantly clear that there was only one way for her to remain at Castle Black after Lady Agatha was gone. He’d be his mistress, installed right under his wife’s nose, or she’d be tossed into the streets without a tuppence to make her way in the only way that a woman could.
Castle Black is pretty much in chaos when one evening a man with common clothes, looking more like a pirate than gentry comes to the door announcing he is Graham, Lord Blakemore. The winds of chaos grow worse. Lady Agatha immediately accepts him as her son. Beatrice confirms certain identification markings he has. Edmund and Christopher have something to lose if it is true, wanting the man kicked out of the castle.
What makes this interesting is Graham has only learned his identity recently, but his memories are mostly non-existent. Any memories he has, seem to revolve around Beatrice. But, Beatrice remembers him as a lad, a prankster, pulling her hair, teasing and pinching her. He had been cruel. But what she sees now, he is not the same. He’s a kinder soul, one protective to his mother and Beatrice. And one Beatrice could fall in love with. But she couldn’t let that happen. He is Lord Blakemore, she is just an orphan.
There was no cruelty in the man she’d just met, and it was hard for her to fathom that a more difficult life had produced a kinder version of the boy she’d once known…
Why did he tempt her so? He was handsome. If she had to categorize it, she would say he was undoubtedly the most handsome man she’d ever seen. But not in the way of a gentleman. His features were fought-hewn and chiseled, all sharp angles and planes with none of the softness to him that marked nobility. It was a point in his favor, truthfully. She’s never been attracted to men who looked softer than she did—men like Edmund.
The castle is as multi-faceted and complex as the people who live within its walls. It has secret rooms and passages with priest holes. When Graham realizes much is afoot within the castle, he takes it upon himself to find its source and stop it. His past experiences work in his favor.
Beatrice is the voice of wisdom and calm, although she almost loses her own life. Here’s a beautiful quote, spoken by Beatrice to Graham.
“We are none of us good or bad, Graham. We are simply fallible people capable of extremes…whether it be kindness and compassion or cruelty and brutality. The seeds for all exist within us. Whatever you may have done in your life, it is not the definition of who you are.”
Betsy, Beatrice’s friend and maid, funnels news from the servants to her ears. She knows the castle well and uses the secret passage ways within its walls.
The plot is thick, the possibilities of why abound, as Graham takes control of the castle and the evil lurking within its walls. I was entertained and kept on edge much of the time, right there with Beatrice and Graham, trying to unravel why all the strange goings-on.
At the same time, I was charmed by Beatrice, fiercely independent with a mind and voice of her own who finds in Graham a man of great understanding who wouldn’t never had been able to accept her feelings if he had grown up as on of the titled priviledged. She couldn’t help but fall in love. Even though Graham still doesn’t have all his memories, his love is strong. She was his beacon back home.
Am I not ready for book two of the series?