“Welcome, ladies, the next few weeks will decide your future. But before all that, let me introduce you to my son, Nicholas. To one of you, he’ll be a future husband. To the rest, a nightmare who will haunt your dreams for whatever time you have left.”
Born into privilege, Victoria Hamilton has endured a life of opulent captivity. Disallowed to associate with any men outside her kin, she ventures beyond her gilded cage vicariously, through the art books she adores and the adventures of her dear friend, Tamara. Nevertheless, this staid existence has left her naïve and wildly unprepared when Victoria is finally allowed to debut into society…a debut unlike any other, with no place for the weak.
The arrogantly debauched Nicholas Cavendish, Earl of Lullington, knows he must marry on his thirtieth birthday to inherit his controlling father’s dukedom. The five women selected for him will undergo depraved trials no genteel woman should ever be made to suffer. But for Nicholas, what begins as a means to an end quickly becomes a matter of the heart, thanks to one woman—the brave, beautiful and achingly innocent Victoria.
Sentiment and secrecy make for poor bedfellows, with the Cavendish family legacy being the biggest, most dangerous secret of all. And despite all she’s endured to win her place by his side, Victoria may find Nicholas is truly the one in need of saving.
Unnerving, dark and suspenseful….
And what a legacy the main characters of this dark and shocking tale have to encounter and endure…. this was a deliciously wicked book, which managed to perfectly balance – cruelty, avarice and depravity with humour, selflessness and an unexpected love story..
The author has a wonderful imagination, creating a diverse mix of characters: some kind and generous, some despicable and murderous; mostly they are flawed; and all are multifaceted and believable… the protagonists are the worthy stars: she is a strong willed but naive young woman and he is a powerful and driven man…both are frustrating at times and both show courage and loyalty, but neither has control over their destiny, and their future, and that of the others caught up in their world, is a precarious and an uncertain one…
This is an unnerving and suspenseful romance; I was captivated by the the main characters’ stories and whilst the book ends without a cliffhanger there are clearly many more individuals who will be faced with equally daunting and deadly challenges in the coming instalments..I look forward to reading more…