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A mesmerising story of passionate awakening and redemption, Mary Balogh's new novel unites a hero consigned to darkness with the only woman who can show him the light of love
Blinded by a cannon blast on the Napoleonic battlefields, Vincent Hunt, Lord Darleigh, needs to escape the well-meaning meddling - and matchmaking - of his family. But anonymity proves impossible, and soon another marital trap is sprung. Luckily, he is saved by a stranger with a captivating voice... And when Miss Sophia Fry's intervention on his behalf finds her unceremoniously booted from her guardian's home, Vincent can see a solution to both their problems: marriage.
At first, quiet, unassuming Sophia rejects Vincent's proposal, fearing her attraction to this handsome yet heartbreakingly vulnerable man. But when he convinces her that he needs a wife of his own choosing as much as she needs protection from destitution, she agrees. Could an arrangement born of desperation lead them both to a love destined to be?
Balogh can always be depended on to deliver a beautifully written Regency romance with appealing, unusual characters, and the second in her new Survivors' Club series (after The Proposal) is no exception. Young Vincent Hunt returned from fighting Napoleon in time to inherit a title, Viscount Darleigh. Blind from war wounds, he has not enjoyed his new prosperity. His female relatives badger him to wed, but he is determined to avoid young women who pity his disability. Enter a perceptive orphan, Sophia Fry, who rescues Darleigh when her cousin tries to trap him into marriage. When her aunt and uncle retaliate by kicking her out, it is Darleigh's turn to protect her by offering a marriage of convenience. There is immediate and convincing chemistry between these two lonely souls, and well-drawn supporting characters round out the story. Future series installments promise more compellingly tormented heroes.