Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park return in “a gripping story of love that won’t be denied and hard-fought happiness” (Fresh Fiction).
The widowed Lady Stephen Tarkington, Fanny to her friends, has finished mourning her cad of a husband and is ready to enjoy her freedom. The kind of freedom neither a gently bred miss nor a close-watched wife is permitted: dressing up as Aphrodite for a masquerade, drawing gentlemen away from the party, and hinting at late-night assignations with her dance partners. All is going pleasurably according to plan—until the Roman god Fanny kisses during a masquerade turns out to be Matthew, Lord Lathbury, whose proposal she refused years ago . . .
Lathbury is charming, passionate, inventive, everything Fanny wants in a lover—but unfortunately, he’s on the hunt for a wife. He’s more than willing to use all his wicked skills to persuade her back to the altar, but he can’t wait forever. And now Fanny’s position is more precarious than she once thought. If the tongues of the ton set to wagging, it’s possible no offer in the world will save her from ruin. But does she want to be saved?
“Well worth the read . . . I did enjoy the unique spin that Jaxon pulled with this book and seeing this story develop . . . it was so beautifully done.”—Addicted to Romance
Jaxon's uneven third Widow's Club Regency (after Wedding the Widow) features Fanny Tarkington, recent widow of the brazenly unfaithful Stephen, whose "desire for dalliance" gets disrupted when Matthew Lathbury, her former lover, seeks to claim her now that she's available. Desiring freedom and fearful that Matthew may prove as unfaithful as Stephen, Fanny repeatedly rejects his proposals, though she happily engages in "sexual congress" with him as she did during their four-month affair three years into her marriage. Matthew's faithful adoration and Fanny's stubborn resistance both feel perplexing, as does his inexplicable abandonment of Fanny when she reveals that her daughter, Emma, is his biological child, something she only realizes after seeing them together. With the notable exceptions of Matthew's mother and Fanny's brother-in-law, the supporting characters lack distinguishing characteristics. While slowgoing initially, the story's pace and suspense pick up when the potential scandal of Emma's true parentage becoming public presents a genuine obstacle to their marriage, Fanny's in-laws seek revenge for her infidelity, and Matthew rides to the rescue. But the exciting closing chapters can't really make up for the lackluster rest of the book.