It was the moment she had been dreaming of: a stolen kiss at a masquerade ball with the dashing Camden St. Giles. He may not have known who she was, but Christel would never forget . . .Nine years have passed since that magical evening. Now Camden, the seventh earl of Carrick, is widowed with a young daughter, a man with a heart in need of healing. And Christel has just stolen onboard his ship bound for Scotland. Neither has forgotten the kiss that had set their hearts ablaze. The longer she remains with him, the hotter his desire burns. But as they grasp their second chance at love, will the secrets from his past threaten to destroy the one love true enough to free his tormented heart?
This being the first book that I’ve ever read by Melody Thomas, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The beginning of the book had me wondering if I would even enjoy the book since I’m not that big of a fan of the whole love while at sea romances (it’s why I still haven’t read Jeremy Mallory’s story, I just can’t bring myself to read another love story set on the high seas, I blame Johanna Lindsey’s A Captain’s Love) and this story starts off on a ship. The hero is the captain of the ship and the heroine is on her way back to Scotland to fulfill her dead cousin’s wishes to come home. I’m really glad that I decided to read on because I ended up really enjoying this book.
This book follows Camden St. Giles and Christel Douglas as they fumble their way to their happy ending. The book starts off at a masquerade that Camden’s family is hosting in hopes of finding him a bride to make the mistress of his castle and give the family an heir. At the ball, Camden comes across a woman that captures his attention even though he doesn’t know who she is and after a kiss that rocked his world, he’s called away and never forgets the girl that got away. Even when he finds out who she is and marries her cousin instead, he remembers her because she took off for who knows where and when she comes back, it’s because the cousin is dead and called her to come back and help raise her daughter because she’s dead.
On the way back to Scotland, Christel hadn’t planned on running into Camden or his daughter but she did and as interesting as it is to see Camden again, she’s glad to meet Anna, her cousin Saundra’s daughter. Camden isn’t the same man from Christel’s memories, he’s much harder and even though she married and lost a husband, the feelings she had for Camden slowly make their way to the surface and the more time she spends with him, the more she grows to love him.
Camden on the other hand wants Christel. He has since he kissed her in the garden at his masquerade and even though it’s many years later and they’ve both gone their own ways and changed as people do, he can’t help but want her. He may not trust her, he may not know what she’s got going on but he wants to protect her and claim her. He’s gone through so much and lost so much that he’s hardened himself against most of the world but for some reason, Christel keeps bursting through his barriers.
I enjoyed the romance between Camden and Christel. She doesn’t want to be his mistress but can’t help succumbing to him anyway. He doesn’t want to get close to her but can’t stay away. They have a shared past and his wife was her cousin and best friend, so many secrets, so many things going on but their blossoming romance was the one steady thing the both of them had going for them. Watching Camden thaw out after years of closing himself off from the rest of his family and people around him was great. My heart went out to him throughout the book and seeing him go after Christel and protect her and take care of her even when she didn’t want his help made me love Camden all the more. Christel was her own woman, she was a widow who always did what she thought was right, regardless of what side of the law her actions fell on and I respected her. She wasn’t one of those heroines who ran off and fought battles that were better off fought by men, she did what she could and she survived.
The secondary characters in this book were great additions too. I enjoyed getting to know Tia (after she was done being a total bitch) and I hope that there’s a book for her and Leighton in the making. I’d love to read that book. I had such a soft spot for Leighton, the poor misunderstood do gooder. I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll see more of him in a future book. Overall, this was a sweet historical romance that had me itching for more every time I opened up the book. I’m certainly glad that I read this book and can’t wait for more from this author.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5
This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format. Share this post!