Since Daniel Herbert lost his young love, Rose, before they could ever marry, he has dedicated his life to being a doctor and helping people. He’s a serious man (also a vicar) and isn’t the least bit frivolous. When he unexpectedly inherits a barony, instead of being overjoyed, he’s unhappy with the burden, as it will take away from his life’s calling. He decides that he needs to find a wife, one who can help run his estate, leaving him time to focus on being a doctor and establishing clinics where needed. When Daniel sees Jessie Kelham, he feels an attraction that he’s not felt since Rose was alive.
Jezebel (Jessie) Kelham is recently widowed, and is not looking to marry again, but she has no choice, because her late husband’s nephew is threatening to take guardianship of her daughter. Jessie knows he has no love for the girl, but is enraged because she was named heir when he was expecting that he would be named. He wants control of her fortune, and possibly even worse.
Daniel wastes no time in meeting, and then proposing to Jessie. She refuses him at first, then changes her mind as her daughter’s situation becomes more threatening. Jessie calls Daniel a saint, and tells him that he’s far too good a man for the likes of her, but they marry anyway. Their marriage begins with the two of them being little more than strangers, but with a passionate attraction for each other. It would seem that they may be at the start of a happy ever after, but the action is just beginning.
Jessie has a very colorful past, to say the least. To her credit, she did tell Daniel part of it before they married, but she left out some very important details. Those details come back to haunt the newlyweds with a vengeance. Jessie is a beautiful woman, but she was also a victim of men’s cruelty, and more than once. It’s surprising to me that she was able to trust at all. She’s also remains a very sexual being, despite the abuse she has suffered. She is a good mother, determined to protect her daughter, yet I don’t feel that I got to know her all that well. There were lots of pieces to her puzzle, yet I was left with the feeling of missing one or two. Daniel is truly a good man, and I really liked him. He is intelligent, strong, capable and honest. It surprised me that he fell so hard and fast for someone so unlike him, but I guess that is the old “opposites attract” rule. I do have to admit that Jessie brought some fun to his life, along with a scorching passion. NOT ALWAYS A SAINT is a quick, enjoyable read, with some page turning twists and turns. If you’re following the Lost Lords series, this is definitely a must read for you.