Secrets are rife in the Windham family, but Eve feels hers would ruin her and devastate her family. Years ago she gave her virginity to a cad, and after his abuse fled away on horseback only to have a catastrophic fall. Her physical rehabilitation took years to achieve, but her emotional wounds have yet to heal. Now wary of both horses and intimacy, she believes that her only option is a “white marriage,” one without consummation.
Lucas Denning, the new Marquis of Deene, has been a friend of the Windhams for years. He served on the Continent with Eve’s eldest brother, and has always socialized with the ducal family. Struggling to keep both a deathbed promise to his sister to care for his niece Georgina and to find a wife, he thinks Evie might be the right choice. After all, a married man might be looked upon with favor when he sues for custody of the child.
But he is sure that theirs could not be a marriage in name only, for when they are together, their attraction becomes evident. The stolen kisses from the previous Christmas were only the starting point, and since Evie was the initiator, Lucas knows that she is a passionate woman. When they are caught after a moment of passion, they get married.
Lucas slowly helps Evie work through her fear of horses, learning more about the horrific accident she suffered, and his respect for her courage and resilience, as well as her knowledge of racing, soon has him falling for her. The feeling is mutual as she discovers intimacy in the arms of a passionate and loyal man, even as she fears telling him about the loss of her virginity. Her secret stays with her, gnawing at her peace.
But Lucas’ secret pursuit of Georgina’s custody threatens their budding romance. When Eve finds out, can she believe he married her for anything other than promoting his case? Can she believe anything he says to her anymore, or is their relationship built on lies? What lengths will Lucas go to fulfill his promise? And what will Lucas say once he knows the truth about Eve’s indiscretion?
5 out of 5 Whatzits.
Grace Burrowes does an excellent Regency romance, and delivers exactly what lovers of that genre have missed since it was dropped from publishing lineups. There are a few authors who maintain the manners, humor, and attention to period detail that Regencies are known for, and Ms. Burrowes is definitely a standout. Her characters are fleshed out, complex and passionate. Their attraction pulls you along, expressed candidly as they discover one another and revel in their desire. No mincing about the bedroom antics! Or those out of the bedroom! Not explicit, but sensual and provocative, wrapped in the candy-coating of a great period piece. “Lady Eve’s Indiscretion” is a fantastic novel.
If you liked this, try “Trenton: Lord of Loss” from the series The Lonely Lords by Grace Burrowes. Or “The Ugly Duchess” by Eloisa James.