Phoebe, Lady Clare is a widow with two young sons and the daughter of Sebastian and Evie St. Vincent. It’s been almost two years since her husband Henry died and she’s still grieving that loss. When attending her brother Gabriel’s wedding, she meets his new brother-in-law West Ravenel in person for the first time but she’s known of him since she was a young girl. He’s the one who relentlessly bullied Henry when he was at Eton, making his life miserable, and Phoebe was prepared to struggle for civility. However, the man in her midst now bore no relationship to the boy he once was during his time at school, or even the person he was two years ago. West has found new purpose in life managing the estate his brother Devon acquired when he recently inherited the earldom, transforming both physically and emotionally into a man of worth. While neither has any interest in romance or marriage, their mutual attraction is undeniable.
the heart of the story…
It’s been wonderful watching West shift from the aimless, hard drinking unhealthy man he was when he first came to the family estate to the vital one responsible for saving the property and making it productive. Oddly, that becomes the connection to Phoebe who must manage her husband’s properties until her son becomes of age to assume the role. West lends her his expertise and in the process bonds with her sons and worms his way into her heart. I loved how their relationship took quite some time to develop despite their instant spark of attraction. Her slow emergence out of despair and grief was also uplifting as she began to find joy and interest in the world again. Their romance was on simmer for quite some time until it reached that inevitable heat, which was a nice change of pace.
I’m enjoying the narrator for this series who seems to reinvent herself for the new characters while maintaining the distinctions of the earlier ones. Her performances are exceptional.
the bottom line…
This was the story that connects the Ravenels with the characters from the Wallflowers series, which brought back some wonderful memories! It’s been a while but it all came back to me, an unexpected surprise and pleasure. I’ve looked forward to seeing West get his own happy ending and was pleased that Phoebe was the woman who captured his heart. He’s developed into such a good man who deserved a second chance in life. As much as I enjoyed the romance, it was West’s scenes with Phoebe’s sons that brought the magic. They were a highlight of the story, which turned out to be as wonderful as I’d hoped it would be.
- Release Date: February 19, 2019
- Series: The Ravenels #5
- Narrator: Mary Jane Wells
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 51 minutes
- Publisher: HarperAudio