Temple, Lara, The Reluctant Viscount, (Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2016).
Title: The Reluctant Viscount
Author: Lara Temple
Issues: Child Abuse; Self Esteem
The rake’s return
A decade ago, wallflower Alyssa Drake’s heart broke when Adam Alistair was banished from Mowbray. Now, he’s back–wealthy, titled and more cynical than before! And Alyssa’s determined not to fall under this notorious rake’s spell ever again…
Reluctant viscount Adam knows only betrayal. But Alyssa proves herself an unexpected ally when he finds his life endangered, and they are forced into a sham engagement. Their betrothal may be fake, but there’s no denying the very real passion that explodes between them!
I wanted to write a story about betrayal. Not just the cost of romantic betrayal, but the long-lasting emotional impact of the betrayal children experience at the hands of selfish, self-serving or abusive parents. How each subsequent betrayal in life just deepens the wound, driving us to thicken our armor, heighten our battlements, deepen our moats.
Our parents are our first models for learning about trust, self-esteem and unconditional love. If those models are faulty we can still learn from other sources – siblings, other family members, friends and, later in life, lovers – but there will always be scar tissue: a fundamental fault line of wariness and mistrust that any new relationship has to overcome. Trust will have to be earned, built, tested, and only then accepted. But couples who manage to overcome those barriers can often reach much richer emotional levels of intimacy than couples who come to love without question or challenge.
The Reluctant Viscount is just such a story about betrayal and redemption – how two scarred and wary individuals make a difficulty and uneasy voyage to overcome the impact of early betrayals, risking their hard-earned emotional safety in order to experience trust and love.