An heiress in distress and an earl in disgrace…
When heiress Violet Dunston escapes from an abduction, she finds an unlikely protector in Jack Warriner—a member of one of England’s most infamous families. Ensconced with mysterious Jack behind his manor’s walls, soon escape is the last thing on Letty’s mind!
Jack may be an earl, but his father’s exploits have left him with nothing to offer except a tarnished name. He’s turned his back on the ton, but with Letty tempting him day and night, he finds himself contemplating the unthinkable—a society marriage!
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: A Warriner to Protect Her (The Wild Warriners)
A WARRINER TO PROTECT HER opens with a bang, as heiress, Violet (Letty) Dunston, is bound and gagged and being whisked off to Gretna Green. Her kidnapper is an elderly earl, who is in cahoots with her sleazy uncle, and plans to force her into marriage so he can control her sizable fortune. When the earl falls asleep, and the area they are traveling is wooded, Letty opts to take a chance and leaps from the carriage. Though battered from her fall, Letty takes to the woods and manages to elude her captors.
After a rare evening out, Jack Warriner is heading home when he encounters Letty, who by this time is panicked and nearly frozen. When she collapses, Jack takes her to his home, where he and his three brothers do their best to revive her. Though there was some doubt, Letty does regain consciousness and begins to recover. She obviously doesn’t know her rescuers, and is initially very cagey about what she reveals, not sure if they are trustworthy. Eventually, the Warriner brothers learn the truth, and vow to protect Letty, and hide her in their home for the remaining month until she turns twenty-one and gains control of her fortune.
Jack is an honorable man. He has spent his adult life raising his younger brothers when his parents died, and has worked tirelessly to erase the stain his dissolute father left on the family name. He also labors to restore their farm, while they live on a shoestring budget. Jack is actually an earl, but he doesn’t use the title. The work consumes him, and it’s an uphill battle, as it seems that their business contacts still remember the father’s misdeeds instead of Jack’s current honesty and integrity. This situation has made Jack a very serious man, one with a lot of pride and determination. He’s not about to let a misguided attraction to a wealthy society girl distract him, or lead him to have false hopes.
After some initial awkward moments, when Letty wants a maid to attend her, then requests that the cook serve different meals, then suggests that the housemaids aren’t adequately cleaning, she realizes that there are no servants and that she has wounded Jack’s pride greatly. She then takes on the household tasks herself – cleaning, and even learning how to cook. Letty begins to feel very at home at Markham Manor, and wonders if she might have a permanent place there. She’s also very attracted to Jack, but confused by his hot and cold manner.
After my initial doubts about Letty, I came to see that she was solid gold inside. She’s down to earth and not wrapped up in society’s phoniness. She’s hardworking and caring and passionate, and a perfect match for Jack, if he can just be convinced. Jack is so beaten down by the burdens he carries, but he doesn’t give up. He’s leery of relationships, based on what he saw in his parents’ marriage, and his pride recoils from the image of himself being thought a fortune hunter. A WARRINER TO PROTECT HER is an enjoyable and romantic read with great characters. I’m looking forward to the upcoming stories about the remaining three brothers, as I already fell a bit in love with them – well, two of them. (I’m reserving judgment on that charming lothario until we’re better acquainted.) Virginia Heath has written a terrific introduction to this new series, and I’m happy to recommend it.