Julius is one of my favorite characters in this series. I have been anticipating his story from our first meeting. In my wildest imagination, I could never have conceived that this exquisite dandy of the ton would meet his HEA dressed as a very ordinary business man pretending to be so much less than what he truly is. Get ready for the fireworks when his dearly beloved views his true persona, and, in turn, when he surprises his parents with a gentle miss so unlike the high-society beauty they expect him to take to wife. Ms. Connolly delivers a delightful story with a lot of unexpected twists and turns as we truly get to know the man behind the mask.Disguised as an everyday businessman, Julius sets off to a small English village to see what he can determine of the newest child of the Old Pretender who’s come to his notice. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to look far, because fate packages up Eve Merton and delivers her to him as a damsel in distress on the side of the road where Julius comes to her rescue. As he settles in at the local inn and proceeds to make friends with the village gentry, he finds that he is not alone in seeking Eve’s favors.
Julius is ensnared against his will with Eve, and their romance progresses in leaps and bounds. Ms. Connolly reveals the true man behind the mask in all his bare glory, full of love and angst. Having already been bitten and wary of romance after his disastrous first marriage, the last thing he ever expected is to have such strong feelings for another woman – a woman whose blood could topple the very throne and the peace he’s sworn to protect. He continues apace with his romance and wins Eve from her various suitors and the plots that seem to surround all these long-hidden children of the Old Pretender.
Eve, unlike the other children, is fully aware of her royal blood, which she dismisses under the weight of her lack of dowry and generally straightened circumstances. Yet Julius charms her and wins her over, until she sees him arrayed as the true scion of high society he really is. Yes, that is not a pleasant scene and Julius truly has no one to blame but himself, since his cousins warned him in advance of what to expect when his secret is revealed.
I really like Eve, and what a fitting lover and wife she will make for Julius. Imagine married to an almost stranger, presented to a Duchess in her own home where she’s invited the pink of society for her son to chose a bride. What a trooper she is. Next conquest is Julius’s precocious spoiled daughter. I really enjoyed their meeting and interaction and coming to terms together. As danger swirls and surprises you can’t imagine wait to be revealed, the story will capture you and sweep you up until you don’t want it to come to an end.
Now that Julius has met his match, I am happy to hear that the author will be turning her attention to my next favorite character in the series, Helena. I can’t wait to read her story, especially given my suspicions that the Dankworths will play an even bigger role in this one than they have so far.
It is up to the Emperors of London to protect the throne—without risking their hearts…
Governess Eve Merton would have fallen into serious trouble on her walk home if a handsome stranger had not stopped to help her. But when Mr. Vernon gives her a lift on his horse, he makes no secret of his attraction. As a well brought-up young lady, Eve does her best not to notice, but when he sets about courting her, she knows she’s in trouble. For she has a secret: she is the daughter of a deposed king, which means not only is she without a dowry, but also that her life is in danger…
Little does Eve know that Mr. Vernon has secrets of his own. In truth, his name is Julius, Lord Winterton, and he’s well aware that Eve is the offspring of the Old Pretender. In order to save his sister, he must convince Eve to wed—though he wants nothing to do with love. But as the two grow closer and an attempt is made on Eve’s life, Julius may realize that fighting his heart’s true desire is a battle most pleasurably surrendered…
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