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London, 1817. Infamous courtesan Julia Forsythe is the former mistress of a ruthless marquess. While she longs to flee from his cold clutches, a secret is preventing her from running. Now she must find a way to remain a mistress in name, if not in deed. Her plans are complicated by a growing affection for the estate’s head gardener…
Fifteen years ago, Adam Radcliff shared a close friendship with Julia. Now they stand worlds apart in both lives and statuses, but that doesn’t stop Adam from falling more deeply for Julia, even knowing that wanting another man’s mistress will only bring ruin upon them both…
The Sisters of Scandal series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 The Affair
Book #2 The Wager
Book #3 The Love Match
Book #4 The Mistake
Book #5 The Improper Bride
test of true love over time...
A completely engrossing historical romance! This is a little different than my usual reads but I was engrossed from the very start. I was provided an ARC by the publisher for an honest review.
Julia and Adam had grown up the best of friends in London, 1802. They both loved one another but Julia felt like if she stayed with Adam she would be dooming him to a life of poverty without ever a chance to escape or make something better of himself. So she took off without so much as a goodbye when they were 16.
Over the years she became a well known courtesan, what we would call a prostitute basically. Except that she would work for only one man at a time and that man is who would support her. She was with wealthy men and able to live a lavish lifestyle. She tried her best to forget about the boy she loved. She became an expert at blocking her emotions and keeping her heart uninvolved.
The story picks up 15 years after she left and we find her the courtesan of a wealthy man called Riverton. He is not a nice guy and she loathes him. However, she has found out that she's pregnant and feels trapped without any choices.
Due to pregnancy illness, Riverton allows her to take a short holiday at one of his country estates. Who does she happen to run into? Adam. He's the head gardener there. As soon as they see one another all of those old feelings come back. Of course, neither one will admit it to the other. Adam thinks she left all those years ago because she didn't have feelings for him, while Julia doesn't think he's ever seen her as more than a friend.
Once they both open up about their passion for the other they are faced with many hurdles.
How will Julia tell Adam that she's pregnant? Will Adam ever be able to get over what her profession has been and all that entails from the last 15 years? Can Julia risk being the cause of Adam losing his job of good standing and all that he's earned by inspiring the wrath of Riverton? How will she support a baby without a father if she leaves Riverton and he then refuses to support it?
There are these and many other obstacles in he way of Adam and Julia's happily ever after. You will be glued to the pages wondering what will happen next. This is a feel-good love story that proves true love never fades and triumphs over all.
Loved the plot - Didn't care for Julia
This was one of the more interesting historical story lines I've read. Julia is a mistress - a fairly famous one. But she's found herself in a rough place with a man that is not very nice. He ships her off, pregnant and a little worried, to his country estate. She hopes to find some quiet and time to think - but instead she runs into her childhood sweetheart. Uh oh! Here's where she should have been open and honest, but she neglects to tell the whole truth instead - shame on her.
Adam is a gardener - a really good one! It was fun to see our hero not part of the aristocracy, but instead, a regular guy with a job, bills, and all that jazz. He's shocked to see Julia, and things are quite tense between the two of them.
While, Julia never really grew on me, the story was developed very nicely. No great sudden bursts through the plot or into love and a relationship. It was a gradual re-development of feelings and attractions. It was a romance brought on by some sweet reminiscing and with the help of Adam's nieces. They were just adorable.
Long and short - the plot was great - Adam was great - wish I'd liked Julia a more.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*