Publication date: September 9 (Kindle edition)
Will Fenmore is in love with Rose Quayle, the Countess of Malmstoke. Being but a groom, Will can only watch Rose from afar and conceal his anger at seeing another injury on the Countess's body. In the ten month that the Earl of Malmstoke goes away for business, an affinity grows between Will and Rose, connected by their love of animals and desire for something beyond their reach.
Rose was married to settle her father's debts, to a man who physically abuses her. She longs to escape, but find herself without the means to do so. Upon reaching a breaking point, she attempted suicide, only to be rescued by her groom who wishes to help her start a new life elsewhere. Being wary of men after her husband's constant abuse, Rose slowly learns to trust Will's gentle soul and deep concern for her being, to eventually give her own body and soul for his keeping.
This is a tender, heartwarming story of a mended heart and a love that transcends class differences. Through ingenious plotting, Rose and Will finally obtain their own happiness in a new place of hope and leaves the darkened halls behind. What is also satisfying is the just ending rewarded to the horrendous Earl for all of his deeds, giving spiritual victory to our hero and heroine. Rose's entire journey of her friendship and love with Will was recorded in her journal, which eventually got passed down to another person, the heroine of The Spinster's Secret. Don't miss this wonderful prequel novella to Emily Larkin's The Spinster's Secret, itself a lovely and healing story!
*Review copy courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 5 tulips