Inheriting an earldom riddled with debt, Devon Ravenel intends to sell everything off and sink back into his feckless life—until he sets foot on the land and feels the seductive pull of responsibility and meets the beautiful widow trying to hold everything together.
Devon detested his cousin Theo, the Earl of Trenear, but he's extremely annoyed when Theo dies and he inherits the title and the ramshackle estate that goes with it. Determined to get every cent he can from his inheritance and then turn his back, he's stunned to discover that he feels an unwelcome responsibility toward his legacy. Figuring out how to save Eversby Priory becomes an exhausting burden, but working toward a difficult goal has a positive effect on him and on his brother, West, who takes on the unofficial role of estate manager. Both men, who had previously avoided emotional attachments, quickly become connected to their three young female cousins who live on the estate and to Kathleen, Theo’s widow, who has been running things with graceful competence since her husband's death. Devon spends most of his time in London, but when he's involved in a devastating train accident on his way back to Hampshire for Christmas, Devon and Kathleen admit to a sizzling attraction despite the fact that she's in mourning and he is resolved to never marry. Kleypas begins a new historical romance series with two damaged characters who might find happiness if they can ever learn to trust themselves and one another. Intricately and elegantly crafted, intensely romantic, and with secondary characters and an epilogue that will leave readers anxiously awaiting more.
A gratifying series starter from a not-to-be-missed romance author.