The novel opens with Alexander Sanford's ship wrecking in a storm on the English coast. After eight years, he is returning to England after salvaging his family fortunes in India. He had left his fiancee Henrietta Upperton behind. Later, Henrietta started hearing rumors that Alexander has married and is devastated. She is almost shunned by society. She is now working as the companion to his great-aunt, the Dowager Countess of Epperly. Alexander is brought to the Dowager's house by his manservant, Satya, after he washes ashore.
Henrietta is a strong character. She survived Alexander's betrayal and emulates Mary Wollstonecraft. I found the character of Alexander to be a bit annoying. He says that he is "honor bound", but that didn't stop him from jilting Henrietta and marrying another woman so he could preserve the other woman's honor. What about Henrietta's honor?
I loved the passion that still flowed between Henrietta and Alexander even though Henrietta wants to fight it. He realizes that he made a mistake eight years ago and still loves Henrietta.
One of the other things that annoy me is how young children are written in romance novels. The characters of Alexander's daughters aren't any different. They come across as spoiled, pouting brats.
There is a mystery in this novel that the author keeps the reader hanging by giving out only little clues at a time. In the end, there is the dramatic resolution and pledging of undying love.
This was a great opener to a new series.
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.