Genre: Historical Romance, E-book, England, Victorian Period
Setting: Victorian England
This tale starts slowly but once the story focuses on Nicole and Chad’s marriage and the barriers that stand between their love, it moves full speed ahead. Lilly Gayle spins a tale one part suspense and one part family dysfunction. Shocking revelations float throughout the novel, but it is Chad’s hesitation to completely open up to Nicole that keeps the reader turning pages. Slightly Tarnished is buoyed up by a winning heroine and diverse crew of supporting characters.
The thoroughly American Nicole Keller can hardly believe she has married a domineering and judgmental Englishman. But after losing her father and her home, Nicole has been trying to support herself and her mother. She has little choice but to accept Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest, as her husband. If nothing else, his name will keep Nicole and her mother safe from her malicious uncle. For his part, Chadwick has seen the damage Nicole’s uncle can do firsthand. Marrying Nicole will keep her from harm, plus it will satisfy his mother’s demands. But this marriage of convenience will never work if Nicole keeps bring up love. Besides, how could Chadwick ever love someone he cannot entrust with his long-buried secrets? (WILD ROSE PRESS, June, dl. $6.75)
After American Nikki Keller’s father is lost at sea, along with his ship and cargo that would have paid the mounting bills, she and her mother are left homeless. Mrs. Keller accepts an offer from her brother to make their home with him in England. Loath to leave America, Nikki accepts her mother’s decision. So the two head to England to the estate of Henry Tidwell, Earl of Wellesley.
The Countess of Gilchrest is anxious for her son, Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest to remarry and produce the needed heir. Although soured on marriage after his tumultuous relationship with his deceased wife, he understands his duty and fully intends to take a wife, just not the one his mother is so insistent upon.
Terrified at her uncle’s plans for her future, Nikki runs with her mother from Wellesley’s home into the dead of night. Gilchrest comes across them and after hearing their story, brings them to his estate. Although it starts out as a temporary arrangement, it soon becomes permanent, but Gilchrest is hiding a secret, and Nikki wants to know what it is.
Mystery, intrigue, love and romance all come together to form a satisfying story. Nikki, her mother, and Gilchrest fight to protect themselves and others they love from the machinations of those who would destroy their very world.
A good story with strong characters and a satisfying plot, you’ll enjoy this one.