The acclaimed author of The Devil You Know pens a shimmering novel about a Scottish noblewoman on the run from her past and a powerful English lord brought to his knees by desire.
Aubrey Montford claims to be a widowed housekeeper. Desperate to keep her new post—and her secrets—she transforms desolate Castle Cardow into a profitable estate. Yet soon after her employer, Lord Walrafen, returns from long years of absence, Aubrey is suspected of murder. Sparks and tempers ignite whenever she and the smoldering earl meet, but he may be her only hope.
Walrafen returns reluctantly to the childhood home he loathes. Cardow is said to be haunted—by more than the earl's sad memories—but it was no ghost that murdered his uncle. Is the castle's beautiful chatelaine a murderess? At the very least, she's a liar—he has proof. Yet the truth of his soul is that he's drawn to her with a kind of fierce passion he's never known...
Carlyle's Devil series (The Devil You Know, etc.) continues in this historical romance featuring an embittered earl and a housekeeper with something to hide. Aubrey Montford comes to Castle Cardow armed only with forged references and towing a small boy behind her. The only tenant of the castle is the irascible Major Lorimer, an ailing alcoholic whom no one in the household can bear for long. Nevertheless, Aubrey soon endears herself to the Major by restoring the castle to its former glory. The estate's absentee owner, the Earl of Walrafen, is content to leave Cardow in Aubrey's capable hands until the Major, his uncle, is found shot to death in his room. Giles, Lord Walrafen, returns to Cardow, though it holds only unhappy memories for him. As he seeks his uncle's murderer, he finds himself drawn to the beautiful but strangely reserved Aubrey but she's also the prime suspect in his investigation. Carlyle sets up a locked-room mystery with few suspects, so there's far more romance here than suspense. Fortunately, the chemistry between Aubrey and Giles is intense, and their relationship possesses a maturity that distinguishes it from typical love-between-the-classes romances. On the whole, Regency fans who prefer their romances mixed with a little intrigue will be charmed by Carlyle's newest offering.