Review – A Forbidden Liaison With Miss Grant by Marguerite Kaye

About the Book:

An unexpected encounter…

Will change everything!

Self-made gentleman and widower Grayson Maddox has devoted himself to his children and business, leaving no time for pleasure. Until he has an impulsive, thrillingly sensual encounter with lady’s companion Miss Constance Grant! Their passion gives Grayson hope of a happiness he never thought he’d feel again. But there’s still much in both their pasts to confront before they can turn their forbidden liaison into a new beginning…

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                             A Forbidden Liaison with Miss Grant (Harlequin Historical)

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Constance Grant, former teacher, is contemplating the rapid approach of her fortieth birthday, and reflecting on her life.  Years ago, she watched her small village destroyed as all the tenants were forced from their homes because of the clearances by a landowner interested only in making more money by using the land to raise sheep.  To add insult to injury, the very man she planned to marry acted as the landowner’s factor, personally directing the evictions.  Her own father died during the process, and Constance went to live with her friend and godmother.  For months her grief left her listless and uninterested in anything, then she found a new purpose.  She acquired an alter ego, Flora MacDonald, and wrote scathing articles in the New Jacobite Journal.  This was the only activity that made her feel alive again.  That is, until she encountered the handsome stranger…

Grayson Maddox is a successful shipbuilder, and a widower with two teenaged children.  He’s in town to acquire suitable lodgings for him and his children during the king’s upcoming visit.  When he sees Constance, he is immediately struck by a strong feeling of recognition.  Though they’ve never actually met before, Constance has the same feeling when Grayson approaches her.  He is all courtesy and politeness, and their brief chat leads them to take a stroll together. Before long, and to the amazement of both of them, they share a passionate encounter that leaves them both shaken.  Constance has not had a beau since she left her village, and Grayson has focused on his business and his children, never even considering a new relationship.

Constance and Grayson come to agree that this was just a moment out of time.  Grayson clearly states that he has no intention of remarrying, or even having a serious alliance.  Constance also doesn’t want any entanglements, as she’s committed to her cause of opposing the clearances, and writing her articles.  Still, they can’t quite say goodbye, and agree to spend as much time together as they can during Grayson’s visit.  Each meeting has them sharing more and more of themselves, and they become exceedingly close.  Several times they agree it would be better to call it off, then turn around and seek each other out again.

With each encounter, I could see that this couple is genuinely in love, yet unwilling to take a chance on any future together for their own reasons.  I realized that amazingly enough, they are both afraid – terrified to enact any changes in the futures they had mapped out for themselves.  When Grayson learns of Constance’s secret, he is even more determined to end their relationship, as it greatly impacts him, and a secret that he’s keeping from her.

I love reading stories with couples past the first blush of youth.  I enjoy seeing how life experiences have shaped them, and how they react to passion and love.  Constance and Grayson had a way of laughing at themselves, and their age, which was truly charming.  They never put any pressure or guilt on each other.  In fact, their relationship had quite a modern feel to it.  Their determination to avoid a future together, along with their other circumstances made me wonder how this couple was ever going to make a go of it.  Constance, especially, was reluctant to let go of her need to fight a battle that couldn’t be won.  While I applaud her zeal and commitment, I hated seeing her bitterness, which seemed to hold her in the past.  A FORBIDDEN LIAISON WITH MISS GRANT was an enjoyable read with a couple that I was genuinely fond of.  I would have liked to see more interaction between Grayson’s children and Constance, but the resolution is wrapped up in a way that’s believable and satisfying.  I’m all for more books with leads in their middle years, as there is plenty of life and passion to be found in them.    ~Rose

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