Even though the Dankworths are bitter enemies of her family, it was love at first sight between Helena and Tom. As the series has progressed, Lynne Connolly has been slowly but surely redeeming Alconbury into a friend of the emperors so it’s only fitting that Helena, our empress, should be the one to bridge the divide. Get ready to be blown away as long-hidden secrets are revealed, bringing the series to a conclusion which will leave fans begging for more.
Readers have been long aware that Helena’s sadness conceals a deep hurt which goes beyond her difficult relationship with her mother. In the previous book, Ms. Connolly hints at a possible doomed relationship between Tom and Helena, given the strained relations between their families. Even knowing some of these so-salient facts, you’ll be pretty blown away as, without further ado, the author sweeps you right into the love-at-first-sight meeting between Helena and Tom. After some intrigue and hidden meetings, their short-lived love affair comes to a grinding halt.
Fast forward five years, Julius is newly wed and looking for some privacy with his new wife and settling to wedded bliss. Helena, who has long lived with Julius to escape her mother, needs to look toward her own future. Having watched her brothers and cousins find love, she is determined to elude all the suitors who come her way and look for a solution to finally win a future with Tom. A forceful suitor determined to win her for wife at any cost forces Tom to come out of the shadows, even though Tom’s actions, while saving Helena, end up compromising her in the eyes of London society.
Helena’s choices are even more limited now. Will Tom come up to scratch and work through the issues that divide them? Before Tom can really come up to snuff, Helena takes matters into her own hands and ends up at his doorstep, escaping her harridan mother who’s determined to get her way, regardless of her child’s happiness. London society watches agog as Julius crosses his enemies’ threshold to negotiate a marriage settlement for his sister and publicly acknowledge his acceptance of the Dankworth family.
The story doesn’t end here. The author has a lot more surprises in store for her readers. Prince Charlie still lurks in the shadows, complicating matters. Sad to say this series has definitely damaged all my romantic notions of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Ms. Connolly is full of surprises that definitely caught me off guard, since I didn’t pick up on the hints that were there if I had cared to add two plus two to make four. It’s a good thing this is a happily-ever-after story, because I was afraid that these two wouldn’t have a future together several times during the book.
I really liked Augustus, whom we really get to meet in a meaningful way for the first time in the series. I do hope Ms. Connolly will delight us with a story about him in the future, as well as some of the delightful characters in the series who are still to tell their stories.
A riotous passion and a forbidden love jeopardize the future of the Emperors of London . . .
Ravishingly beautiful and accomplished, Helena has her pick of suitable bachelors—and because she is the only daughter of a powerful duke, her mother is determined she makes a good marriage. But Helena won’t marry any of them, because she is in love with the son of her family’s most dangerous enemy. Though she has now been rebuffed by her beloved, she is resolved to win him back—no matter the cost.
Tom’s forbidden love for Helena has only intensified over the years of their separation. But the discovery of his true roots has changed everything. His secret spells danger for his family and everyone he loves. Devoted to Helena, he will sacrifice anything—even his one great love—to keep her safe. And soon, caught between warring factions and hounded by a deadly assassin, the couple will be swept back together in a fight for their lives, and their destiny…
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