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The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, injured in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendships forged in steel and loyalty. But for one, her trials are not over....
Since witnessing the death of her husband during the wars, Imogen, Lady Barclay, has secluded herself in the confines of Hardford Hall, their home in Cornwall. The new owner has failed to take up his inheritance, and Imogen desperately hopes he will never come to disturb her fragile peace.
Percival Hayes, Earl of Hardford, has no interest in the wilds of Cornwall, but when he impulsively decides to pay a visit to his estate there, he is shocked to discover that it is not the ruined heap he had expected. He is equally shocked to find the beautiful widow of his predecessor’s son living there.
Soon Imogen awakens in Percy a passion he has never thought himself capable of feeling. But can he save her from her misery and reawaken her soul? And what will it mean for him if he succeeds?
The sixth entry in Balogh's Survivors' Club series (after Only a Promise) gives Imogen Hayes, Lady Barclay, her highly anticipated story. Imogen is treated as an equal by the war-scarred male members of the Survivors' Club, a group of friends recovering from service in the Napoleonic Wars. Her favorite time of year is the three weeks they all spend together every spring. Outside of this time, Imogen lives isolated in Cornwall, a courtesy guest on the estate that would have been her husband's, a spy who was tortured in front of her. When the new Lord Hardford arrives on a whim to inspect his inheritance, he is unexpectedly drawn to the beautiful widow and her secrets. A plot involving local smugglers throws Imogen and Hardford together, forcing Imogen to face her demons. Although Hardford's arrogance and aggressive seduction sometimes come across as charmless, this is a satisfying series entry from an author who delivers graceful writing and emotional depth.