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 on board his ship bound for Scotland. Neither has forgotten the kiss that had set their hearts a blaze. 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?
Christel dresses up and follows the man of her heart. He is in the Royal Navy and will be heading back out to sea soon. They share a passionate kiss and Camden St. Giles is entranced. He asks her to dance but then is called into the ball by his grandmother. Christel is waylaid by her half-sister and ends up leaving without further contact with Camden.
Nine years later and both Christel and Camden’s lives have changed dramatically. Christel was sent away to the colonies where her life was fraught with danger and mystery. Camden’s marriage fell apart and died, he was brought before the admiralty to be made an example of and he just wants to be with his 8 year old daughter.
Christel shows up at a London dock seeking passage on Camden’s ship. She had received a letter asking her to return home to become a governess to Camden’s daughter. When Camden and Christel see each other again they discover that the attraction they felt for each other all those years ago hasn’t diminished and they have a difficult time keeping away from each other.
When they return home there are issues between Camden and his brother Leighton and an involvement in a smuggling ring. There’s also some issues with Christel and her past as well as the mystery around the death of Christel’s cousin, Camden’s wife, Saundra. We also have some political intrigue in there that was very nicely written.
The book was very well done and it was one I found I couldn’t put down. There was always something happening and holding my attention but not in a way that I felt there was too much going on. The story just flowed easily from one thing to another so seamlessly.
I very much enjoyed both Christel and Camden’s personalities in this story. They had issues together as well as emotional demon’s from their pasts that they needed to face and work through but they really were pretty sure of who they were. They grew in the book but not to the point where their personality changed completely and I really appreciated that the author kept them true to themselves.
This is my first time reading Melody Thomas but it definitely won’t be my last. This was such an enjoyable book that I can’t wait to see what else she has to offer.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5