4.5 stars. I finished this yesterday and really enjoyed. It is set in 1902, and I loved the more modern take on historical England. Women are becoming more independent (smoking, driving and showing some ankle!), aristocracy is losing power to commercialism, and the rules of society are quickly being rewritten to allow people more personal freedoms. Music, fashion, and even transportation are all evolving, and I thought LLG did a great job bringing many of these elements into this story.
At age 23 William Mallory, heir to the Duke of Sunderland, had his life all planned out for him and handed on a silver platter - a title, money, a beautiful fiance...etc., but instead chose to follow a once in a life time opportunity and left for Egypt in hopes of unearthing King Tut's tomb. His fiance Beatrix (Trix) Danbury, dutiful daughter to a neighboring Earl, refused to go with him and live in such a horrid climate, and therefor gives him an ultimatum. He chooses Egypt, and now 6-years later has comes back to England to find financial support to continue his archaeological digs.
Will and Trix are now older, wiser and living the lives they thought they wanted. Newly engaged to the Duke of Trathen, Trix has finally gotten over the love of her life leaving his ducal duties behind to pursue his dreams, and is now ready for the comfortable (but passionless) companionship her upcoming marriage will provide. And then she see's Will riding his horse on the side of the road, and nothing is the same again.
While both Will and Trix felt they made the right decision 6-years ago, spending time together again reveals the deep passion they once shared is far from gone. Six years ago they were so focused on their own desires that the other person's desires were dismissed without any real consideration.
The chemistry between Will and Trix was so believable, and the way they slowly reveal their past hurt and accept their own part in it while learning to see the situation through each others eyes was well done. While I did get frustrated with Trix for taking so long to finally lighten up, her strict background made her actions believable. And now for Will to win Trix back, he has to prove his love and take on the monumental task of winning back her trust.
If you are looking for a regency historical with a simpering, doe-eyed virginal heroine and a dominate alpha-male hero, this isn't that book. This is a more modern historical that addresses issues of conflict where both the hero or heroine made many mistakes. It was such an enjoyable read and I recommend it to LLG fans. I can't wait for the next in the series.