An estranged couple is brought together by fate and tries to make a go of it again, but the tensions that drove them apart still exist, and unbeknownst to them, they have a shadowy, malevolent enemy, too.
Ten years ago, James, Lord Kirkland, and Laurel Herbert tumbled into love and marriage with lightning speed, but things fell apart in one violent moment before their first anniversary. Leaving her aristocratic husband also created a rift with her parents, and with nowhere else to go, Laurel moved in with her brother, Daniel. Together, the siblings used the allowance James granted her to fund Daniel’s medical education, then opened a clinic and a shelter for women and children in a poor Bristol neighborhood. Now, fate will intercede when James is in Bristol on business and, weakened by a bout of malaria, is set upon by thieves. Bloody and unconscious, he's brought to the clinic, where Laurel treats him—and can’t quite bring herself to stop him when, in a dreamlike hallucination, he reaches out to her sexually. The next day, Laurel lets him leave, oblivious to their lovemaking, but must revisit the situation when she learns she’s pregnant. James is unwilling to abandon his child, and the two reconcile. Working on old grievances, misunderstandings and secret yearnings, they begin to believe in their love again; however, just as happiness is in sight, Laurel is attacked by a new enemy made when she stood up for a vulnerable victim, and James must turn to his closest friends to save the brave, principled wife he knows he can’t live without. Putney continues her Lost Lords series with two passionate lovers who are convinced love can’t save the day; she then forces them to mine their own vulnerabilities before they can truly be happy with each other.
Elegant and tender; a compelling sweep of romance and adventure with a gratifying undertone of social justice elements.