Justiss, Julia, Stolen Encounters with the Duchess (Hadley’s Hellions, Book 2), (Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).
Title: Stolen Encounters with the Duchess (Hadley’s Hellions, Book 2)
Author: Julia Justiss
Issues: Class Differences; Infidelity; Orphan
She would rather burn in his presence than pine in his absence
Faith Wellingford Evers, Duchess of Ashedon, is tired of society’s endless gossiping about her failings and her late husband’s infidelities. Seeking escape one night, she’s attacked by ruffians, but is saved by an unlikely figure from her past!
Having risen from penniless orphan to Member of Parliament, David Tanner Smith is no longer the quiet boy Faith once knew. With the first spine-tingling kiss, their old friendship is transformed. And in its place is an explosive mix of illicit encounters and forbidden desire…
For both readers and writers, sometimes secondary characters get stuck in our heads. Intrigued by the glimpses we’ve been given of them, we want to know their whole story. Where did they come from and what will happen to them?
Such was the case with Davie in From Waif to Gentleman’s Wife. An orphan taken in by an elderly widow, he comes involved in the lives of Sir Edward Greaves and Joanna Merrill, the penniless governess who ends up on Ned’s doorstep. When Davie saves Joanna from danger, a grateful Ned takes him under his wing, impressed by the orphan’s courage, ingenuity and intelligence.
By the time I’d finished Waif I knew he would grow up to be a Parliamentary leader, instrumental in moving England towards a ore egalitarian future with the great Reform Bill. I also knew that he would fall in love with Faith, the youngest Wellingford daughter – sister of Sarah, heroine of The Wedding Gamble – a girl far above his station. But how could they find a happy ending?
In Stolen Encounters with the Duchess, Davie has become that leader, and is still in love with the girl he met when he was just beginning his career. When they meet by chance ten years later he is an influential force, while Faith is a new widow, estranged from her family and Society. Although painfully aware that she is still far beyond his touch, David vows to reawaken in her the joy, optimism and self-confidence years of being a scorned, neglected wife have crushed. But love is a force that resists being contained…
I hope you will enjoy Faith and Davie’s story.