Youthful sweethearts separated by the parents of the aristocratic heroine cross paths after 10 years of heartbreak.
One of the Trewlove siblings raised in the slums of London (When a Duke Loves a Woman, 2018, etc.), Finn has been building a ritzy women’s gambling club (a far cry from his first job as a horse slaughterer). His ambition is partly an attempt to avenge being betrayed by his first love and lover, Lady Lavinia Kent. So when he encounters her without any wealthy finery, living with nuns in shabby Whitechapel and rescuing illegitimate children dumped in unscrupulous “baby farms,” he is suspicious. Having once been thrown in prison when he was expecting to elope with her, he struggles to reconcile her present self with his belief that she was a callous rich girl. Lavinia has mourned her lost innocence after having seemingly been deserted by Finn and left to the mercies of an uncaring family. As an adult, she has finally fled from her socially acceptable fiance and dedicated herself to saving orphans—for a reason most readers can guess, thanks to the prologue. The novel’s soap opera–style misunderstanding makes the reader fear that this will be a needlessly prolonged plot that could have been shortened by one honest conversation between the protagonists. Fortunately, they confront each other early in the novel and realize that their past anger needs to be directed at other parties, not each other. Much of the remaining story explores the possibility of a happy-ever-after when the memories of a once-passionate attachment have been dulled by worldly griefs.
Recommended for readers looking for a romance about second chances. A strong addition to the Sins for All Seasons series.