Orphaned as a child, Arabella Hampton was the unwanted and unloved charge of a cruel aunt and neglectful uncle. The only light in her young life was the kindness of the Jonquil family, and she clung to the childish dream of someday living with them at Lampton Park. Now, years later, that opportunity is presented to Arabella in a most unexpected way: she is to be the lady’s companion to the dowager countess. As she takes up residence at the estate, the young woman soon finds that life at the Park is far more complicated than she imagined. The lines of her position are blurred, and she is neither family nor servant. So when the countess plans a grand house party, Arabella is content to hide in the shadows. But one gentleman sees her there.
Lieutenant Linus Lancaster has retired from the navy and is not looking for love, especially when he finds himself entangled in his sisters’ scheme to trap him into finding a wife at a house party at Lampton Park. Yet amid the festivities, he’s impossibly drawn to the dowager’s quiet companion, Arabella. Their regard for each other is undeniable, but they are haunted by their pasts. Can the two find a way to bridge their worlds?
I can’t recommend this book enough! Even if you haven’t read any of the Jonquil or Lancaster books, this is a must read book.
It adds depth to the Jonquil family, and to the Lancaster family. I adored Arabella and truly understood her and Linus, especially Linus’s feelings on the loss of his brother. I really hope there’s more to Artemis and Charlie’s story soon.
Bits and pieces of the story fall into place as we share the experience with Arabella and Linus. Both are broken souls who find solace, love, and family together. We see them through each others eyes, and the Dowager will play a key role is helping them realize that love is worth the risk.
I adored each of the characters.
I received an ARC from the publisher. (Thank you!)