Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets his eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, and earl's illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress.
After her father's death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice except to accept the lord's indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love guides the last lost lord home.
As the last brother we read about in the Lost Lords of Pembrook series Rafe is an enigma. We didn’t really get to know him at all in the previous books and that’s the way he wanted it. He felt like he wasn’t a nice person for all that he had to do to get where he was and he didn’t want his brothers finding out what those things he did were.
The current Earl of Wortham owes Rafe a great deal of money. The Earl invites Rafe to his home to prove to him that he will be able to pay his debts. Rafe’s not really interested but some of the other men that have been invited own Rafe money as well and he always likes to know what’s going on. What he finds is that the earl plans on selling his half-sister, Evelyn, to the highest bidder to become their mistress. When Rafe first sees Evelyn he’s stunned by her beauty and when he sees a bit of fire in her personality he can’t stop himself for taking her for his own. It seems like a bad things to do but when you consider what her brother was considering letting the other men do to her it was actually a godsend.
Evelyn is still in mourning from the loss of her father. Her brother, the new Earl has kept her locked in her room since his death and she’s not sure what’s going on. When Geoffrey says she’s to entertain men she believes that her brother is trying to find her a suitable husband. This won’t be easily done as she’s the bastard daughter of the late earl and her mother had been her mistress.
When Evelyn is unceremoniously dropped at Rafe’s house the next day and eventually discovers what she is to become she’s mortified. She has dreams and desires – a husband, a home, children. If she becomes Rafe’s mistress she knows she’ll have none of that. Granted he does offer her a choice as to say yay or nay but she has nowhere else to go and no friends so she agrees to stay.
Rafe gives her more than enough time to get used to him before he beds her but he can’t keep himself away from her and though he constantly denies it you see him depending on Evelyn for more and more of his every day happiness. He is still incredibly haunted by his past and even goes as far and thinking he’s a madman. He can’t even let Evelyn touch him because of things that happened when he was young. But Rafe’s stone heart isn’t impenetrable and he soon learns that there’s more to life that he needs to experience and keeping himself separate from everyone isn’t going to cut it.
This was a really good end to the Pembrook series. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what we were going to get with Rafe as he had been so closed off during the series. He did that for several different reason that come to light during the book. I felt so horrible for the things that he had experienced but was so glad that in the end he could conquer his demons.
Evelyn was really naïve when the book first started. She had a very good heart but had been incredibly sheltered throughout her life. She hadn’t ever just gone shopping – the seamstress had always attended her at the earl’s home. She hadn’t ever gone riding in the park at the popular times – her father would always take her in the early mornings when there was hardly anyone there. She was 22 years old and had no friends at all. She realized throughout the book that while she knew her father loved her and fawned over her that maybe he wasn’t as proud of her as he let on – which was a bit sad since he was her whole world before he died. Getting thrown into Rafe’s world was a shock but I felt she adapted well and though her naïveté didn’t go away completely I thought it was a good mix to Rafe’s hardness. Her innocence about life was what brought him out in the end.
The story was a bit slower in the middle than I expected but the range of emotions that were conveyed throughout the story never ended and I really liked that. I very much enjoy Heath’s writing style and this book was no different. She wrote a great tortured hero that I loved reading about. I can’t see what she offers us next.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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