The one woman he will never forget…
Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.
The one man she will never forgive…
After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.
A love that neither can deny…
The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their
broken past, he can give her forever, making every day…
Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the
author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than
twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.
Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com’s Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her “gracefully furious.” A graduate of Smith College & Harvard University, Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Going into the book, I already hate Malcom based on his appearances in previous books. Sarah MacLean’s whole audience already hates him. And we don’t hate him by mistake. We hate him because he deserves it. He treats Seraphina like dirt – he cheats on her. WHEN SHE IS PREGNANT. This second-chance romance isn’t just about Malcolm earning Sera’s forgiveness – he has to earn the entire audience’s forgiveness.
Looking at it that way, Sarah MacLean basically set herself up for failure. Nevertheless, she persisted. And crushed it.
Before I started reading, I knew Sera deserved her Happily Ever After, but I think Mal deserved to be a part of that. By the end, I was rooting for them. I was crying and laughing and swooning.
This book is emotional and angsty and sexy and almost perfect. My one complaint and what took it from a 5 star read to a 4.5 star read is a spoiler, so it’s behind the cut.
This was a 5 star read until the epilogue.
One of the huge hurdles for Sera and Malcom is the fact that, after miscarrying, she’s now barren. If they stay married, Malcolm will never have an heir. They will have this source of sadness forever. It’s not something forgiveness can fix.
Except apparently it can.
In our epilogue, not only do Sera and Malcolm already have two healthy, perfect children, she’s about to birth twins with ease like some sort of super-mom.
At the very end of the story, I was a bit confused as to why Sera and Malcolm couldn’t just be together without getting re-married. Why Sera couldn’t keep her independence, own her bar, but love Mal as the unconventional woman she was. I know, being a duchess is easier in most ways, but Sera didn’t want easy, she wanted to own herself. But the epilogue made it clear – so that their brood of children would be legitimate.
The epilogue cheapened their love story for me. The whole read I was excited about this powerful love story in which children and an heir weren’t necessary or even a possibility. That this strong woman who valued her independence could find love and happiness even without having children. Not being able to have children would hurt, but not as much as not having each other would. I loved that Sera and Mal had finally realized that just to have each other and to love each other was enough.
Listen, writers. Love doesn’t always need to cure infertility in fiction. It certainly doesn’t cure it in reality.