The Deverells Book 2
by Jayne Fresina
Genre: Historical Romance
He’s the eldest son of Victorian England’s most notorious rogue, but Storm Deverell just wants to keep life simple. Unlike the other members of his wild tribe, he steers clear of scandal and leads an honest, hard-working existence on a Cornish farm.
Of course, it hasn’t always been that way. In the days of youthful rebellion, that hot Deverell temper earned Storm a bad reputation. But now he keeps his anger tamed so well nobody would ever know it’s still there.
All things considered, Storm has everything he wants, whenever he wants it, in his uncomplicated world. And even if life is a little quiet sometimes, at least it’s predictable.
Until a strange woman arrives to shatter his unchallenged bachelor tranquility.
Stubborn, proudly independent and apparently immune to his infamous charm, Katherine Kelly is a disruption, a sharp-tongued, haughty madam, and the last thing he needs moving in as his neighbor.
One touch of her smooth hands tells him she knows nothing about managing a farm. One glance at her rose-embroidered stockings warns him she’ll cause a commotion.
Good thing he’s not looking for trouble these days.
Escaping a seedy, gas-lit world of deception and villainy with a spinet full of stolen banknotes and snuff boxes, Kate is seeking a new beginning and a better future for her son. She’s come a long way to find sanctuary and fresh air, so that frustratingly calm, self-satisfied, straight-talking farmer in the next valley will not spoil it for her. Clearly he’s ruled the roost around here far too long, a local legend in his own mind. So what if Deverell believes a woman can’t survive without a man? Surviving is something this single mother knows how to do.
One touch of his rough hands tells her he’s dangerous. One glance into his blue eyes warns her he’ll be a distraction.
Good thing she’s not looking for trouble these days.
But these two headstrong, accidental neighbors will soon learn that trouble can find them without being sought. Because what’s “nice” can also be naughty, and what’s naughty…. is usually a Deverell.
Jayne Fresina’s epitaph will probably include the words, “should have known better.” She shuffles around the house in worn-out woolly socks, doesn’t own a solitary t-shirt that isn’t stained, talks to herself, sings Amy Winehouse in the shower, has a morbid fear of sewing machines and ironing boards, drinks too much coffee, would work for coconut cake, and spends five hours a day writing to maintain a relative degree of sanity.
As a child, her desire to entertain manifested itself in weekly performances from a cupboard in her bedroom. The repertoire was extensive and varied, including a one-woman version of “Jaws”, complete with a musical interlude for ice-cream. Sadly her audience of stuffed animals, dolls and bored sisters was mostly unimpressed and only mildly attentive.
The entertainment she provides for her family is now sadly limited to occasional webcam shenanigans, since they are all far apart. Her sisters remain unimpressed by her writing career and only approve of her wicked stories when they can be assured the heroine is based upon them. They wait patiently for a story in which everyone keeps their clothes on. Mostly they claim to have no clue where she gets her ideas.
She really doesn’t know either.
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Storm is the oldest son, though illegitimate, of True Deverell, and part of the scandalous Deverell family. He is content with his country living, his animals, and occasional female companionship. His peace is disturbed by a strange woman, who shows up on his land, trying to cross a stream, over a washed out bridge, and gets stuck. Storm tries to help, but the woman refuses, until it’s clear she has no other options available. It turns out that a mutual friend, the late Reverend Cole, suggested that this part of Cornwall would be an ideal place for Kate to make a new start.
Katherine (Kate) Kelly has been used and abused, and wants to get away from London, the tawdry life she’s been living, and make a new life for her and her son, Flynn. If she financed this trip with ill-gotten gains, well, she tells herself, it’s only what she’s owed. And she certainly doesn’t need a too handsome farmer flirting with her. So Storm’s attempts at rescue and friendliness are rebuffed, and his compliments are thrown back in his face.
Kate has a major chip on her shoulder, and I have to admit that for the first half of the book, I really disliked her. A lot. I didn’t like the way she kept everyone at a distance and was overly stern with her young son. She came off as cold and haughty. Eventually I came to see how badly she had been treated her whole life, and that she was only trying to protect herself and Flynn.
Eventually, the sexy and charming Storm wears down her resistance, and they begin to form a friendship which looks very promising. But as fate would have it, the past comes back to haunt Kate. Someone recognizes Kate from London, and tells Storm about her past life, with much exaggeration. As they struggle with this new wrinkle in their fledgling relationship, all hell breaks loose around them. Despite the ensuing chaos, the last part of this book was pure delight, and had a bit of everything There was mystery, murder, threats, villains, proposals, mayhem, and, yes, finally, romance. I enjoyed STORM very much, and look forward to the upcoming stories of the other members of the scandalous Deverell family.