Serena Donovan left London six years ago, her heart broken and her reputation ruined by devilishly handsome Jonathan Dane. Now, with her family's future in peril, she reluctantly agrees to return to England and assume her late twin's identity. The price? Marry a man she doesn't love and spend the rest of her days living a lie.
Jonathan Dane, Earl of Stratford, has become an incorrigible rake, drinking, gambling-and trying to forget Serena Donovan. Yet the moment he's introduced to the prim and proper "Meg", he recognizes the sensual young woman who captured his heart. Haunted by his past mistakes, he refuses to lose Serena again. But convincing her to trust him is no easy task. Claiming his lost love means exposing the truth and destroying the life Serena has sacrificed everything to rebuild. With the future of all the Donovans at stake, and their undying passion capable of triggering yet another scandal, how much will Jonathan and Serena risk for a chance at true love?
(Terra's Thoughts) Now this is a book worthy of it's luscious characters with all their secrets and baggage on board. What starts out as a major scandal in the Ton leads to emotional pain and suffering so profound that it scars our characters for what seems a lifetime. Can deception bring about a sense of peace and less guilt or will it carve out a new saga that will only intensify what was started so many years ago?
Serena and Meg Donovan are identical twins in London for their first season. The girls mother has sent them to hopefully snatch a rich husband with a magnificent title thus hoping to influence the hubbies into bringing the rest of the family home to London from the West Indies and destitution. Unfortunately the girls are young and even though they have a proper chaperon with their Aunt it's not quite enough to keep them in check.
Jonathan Dane is tall, dark and handsome but quite immature. Second son of an Earl with no hopes of inheriting the title, Jonathan is left to his own devises. Unfortunately for him he gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar so to speak and must publicly cut his conquest or be forever banned from the family and left destitute to find his own way in life as a pauper after having lived the life of Riley with carousing, gambling and drink.
Our story starts out with the girls on their way home to the West Indies disgraced and tossed out by the Ton but if that isn't bad enough there is a terrible accident that will forever scar everyone involved.
Six long years go by before the story picks up again with a much older young lady heading back to London with her sister to live a lie with a deception so cruel that it could permanently cast them out if they are caught. It would also cause severe pain to the man involved and who knows what else may happen if such a dire secret were to become known.
Not long after the return to London do our Ladies meet up with the intended victim but also with another notorious rake by the name of Jonathan Dane that will make the females quiver in fear if he should become to close and discover that which could destroy them.
Will the Ton catch wind of the dirty little secret? Is it true that some things are better left unsaid or will our characters find the courage to tell all even if it kills them?
Jennifer Haymore has given us a wonderful Cinderella story that does have more than it's share of pain but also has more than it's share of passion. A wonderfully paced story that will take you from London to Greta Green and back with a lush amount of sass, finesse and pizazz to keep you well satisfied like a cat in front of a bowl of milk. Just delicious!
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever; Original edition (July 26, 2011)