A lady hidden from society
A viscount with his own secrets…
When Frances Webster meets brooding Arthur Amberton on Whitby shores, he’s a different man from the dashing young gentleman she once carried a flame for. But life has changed her, too. After a tragic accident left her scarred physically and emotionally, she’s led a solitary life. She cherishes their new friendship, yet she can’t help but hope Arthur sees the beauty within her…
Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link: The Viscount’s Veiled Lady (Whitby Weddings Book 3)
Six years ago, Arthur Amberton was secretly engaged to Lydia Webster, a woman his father found unsuitable. Despite Arthur’s pleas, his father, Viscount Scorborough, insisted that Arthur marry a wealthy woman hand-picked by him, and to live his life as a proper heir to a title should. Arthur decided to approach Lydia with a plan to elope, only to find her with another man. Angry and heartbroken, Arthur left home for nine months, only returning when he learned of his father’s death, making him a viscount. He lives a reclusive life now, working a farm on his land, and avoiding society and all the rumors surrounding him and his mysterious disappearance.
Frances Webster always had a bit of a crush on her older sister’s fiancé, Arthur, who was always kind to her and spent time chatting with her. When Arthur disappeared, fickle Lydia wasted no time in marrying a wealthy man within a month. Now Lydia is widowed and has decided she wants Arthur back. When her notes to him are only answered by a curt refusal, she coerces Frances to take her message to Arthur personally. Frances suffered an accident when she was eighteen, which left a scar on part of her face. The scar basically ended her own engagement to a shallow man, and now she wears a veil and avoids society. She reluctantly agrees to approach Arthur, as Lydia has threatened to reveal her secret pastime to their parents if she doesn’t comply.
Neither Arthur nor Frances immediately recognizes the other after six years. After all, Frances is hiding behind a veil, and Arthur has grown taller and more muscular. Though their first encounter is rocky, they eventually end up meeting regularly on the beach where Frances walks. Their friendship resumes, and they begin to share their stories with each other, though Arthur is adamant that he will not resume his acquaintance with Lydia. Her betrayal cut him deeply, and he avoids relationships, as does Frances. I really appreciated that Frances revealed her scar to Arthur early on, and that his reaction was all I could have hoped for.
I love how the developing friendship and affection between Arthur and Frances gives them both courage and hope, enough so, that they are willing to attend a social function, Frances even willing to forego wearing the veil. But will the passion they’re beginning to feel for each other be enough to overcome all the obstacles in their path? Lydia is not to be outdone by her little sister, and is not above scheming to make her desires come true. Arthur is still dealing with guilt and uncertainty about his suitability as a husband, and Frances still has insecurities about her looks, as well as doubts about whether Arthur still loves Lydia.
THE VISCOUNT’S VEILED LADY is a warm and tender romance between two wounded souls who feel their chance for love is gone. It’s wonderful how well they suited and how perfectly they seemed to fill the emptiness and be exactly what the other needed. Watching Arthur step up to be the man he was meant to be, and seeing Frances blossom is heartwarming. Though part of a series, THE VISCOUNT’S VEILED LADY can be read and enjoyed on its own. Recommended for readers who enjoy a character driven story, with a slow building and very satisfying romance. ~Rose