Young. Ravishing. Exquisitely marriageable. From the moment he spies Lady Morgan Bedwyn across the glittering ballroom, Gervase Ashford, Earl of Rosthorn, knows he has found the perfect instrument of his revenge. But wedlock is not on the mind of the continent’s most notorious rake. Nor is it of interest to the fiercely independent Lady Morgan herself…until one night of shocking intimacy erupts in a scandal that could make Gervase’s vengeance all the sweeter. There is only one thing standing in his way: Morgan, who has achieved the impossible—she’s melted his coolly guarded heart. For Gervase, only the marriage bed will do, but Morgan simply will not have him. Thus begins a sizzling courtship where two wary hearts are about to be undone by the most scandalous passion of all: glorious, all-consuming love.
Comment: This is the fourth installment in the Bedwyn Saga series by Mary Balogh. I've enjoyed the previous books quite a lot, so i was very eager to try this one as well. This is Morgan's story, she's the youngest sister of the six siblings.
This story begins with Morgan in Brussels, attending a ball. She's been there for a while and traveled with a family whose son will join the Cavalry in any upcoming battle against the french, if that happens, It is also known that son is looking for to court Morgan. However, everything feels very boring to Morgan until she meets Lord Rosthorn, someone captivating but who she assumes only wants to flirt with her.
Gervase, Lord Rosthorn really just wants to create a situation that somehow will humiliate the duke of Bewcastle, Morgan's older brother because of something that was the cause of Gervase's exile. He thinks Morgan will be as arrogant and uncaring as the duke and he will find it amusing to play a part that will make everyone talk about her and, eventually, the duke.
These two weren't counting on a battle though, whose repercussions would make them change their opinions of one another...
Like I said, I have enjoyed all books in the series so far and I didn't expect less from this one. As a matter of fact, though, this ended up being the one I liked less in terms of romance, although as an overall feel, the first one seemed less balanced between romance and plot.
The story was very interesting, especially because of the characterization's differences we could see happening in Morgan and Gervase while they were helping those who were part of the battle or treated wounded people. In fact, this was probably what made this story as good as it is, how we get to have a serious take on something that hurt many people and that is part of History. The main characters seemed to change, almost, Morgan in particular went from someone who looked arrogant and too certain of her status to a person that cared and tried her best.
Obviously we know the main couple would always be redeemed to a certain extent so we could feel they are "earning" their HEA but I did like seeing this improvement in their case.
The social conventions were also explored here. It was interesting to see the limits people had and n matter how many historicals we read, it's clear some authors try to be closer to reality than others. I always have the feeling this author is as strict with those rules as possible without making the stories too boring.
It was still weird, though, to see conventions so easily addressed after a tragedy affected the family. I fully expected daily situations to feel more serious or at least that the way the characters behaved would show their devastation but it seemed not much importance was given to that.
The romance, like I said wasn't totally perfect for me. The beginning wasn't interesting to be honest, and I usually dislike when people play games just because, without having a good enough cause. Although Gervase had a reason to try to get revenge, I still think that Morgan was too much of a conceited young woman to make things even.
Then circumstances changed, and both their behavior and nobility of spirit came forward. This was very interesting, I was looking for to see them become the characters I hoped for and things were progressing a good way until Gervase's past was revealed and I was convinced he was the one who suffered the most. So, when Morgan sort of believed he played her, she decided to do the same and, sincerely, I didn't like how their relationship developed. Yes, everything turned out to be perfect but...there's some balance missing in all this and I don't mean in terms of age difference.
This story was a good one, no doubt about that. But with such strong elements, I wasn't as positively surprised as it seems I would be after Morgan and Gervase became friends and the HEA, despite deserved, didn't seem to be as sweet as some of the others were. Or maybe their relationship didn't strike as romantic as the others...
I still like the series a lot and of course, now I'm very eager to read Alleyne's book next month.