ABOUT THE BOOK:She would rather burn in his presence than pine in his absence
Faith Wellingford Evers, Duchess of Ashedon, is tired of society's endless gossiping about her failings and her late husband's infidelities. Seeking escape one night, she's attacked by ruffians, but is saved by an unlikely figure from her past!
Having risen from penniless orphan to Member of Parliament, David Tanner Smith is no longer the quiet boy Faith once knew. With the first spine-tingling kiss, their old friendship is transformed. And in its place is an explosive mix of illicit encounters and forbidden desire…
Stolen Encounters with the Duchess by Julia Justiss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Stolen Encounters with the Duke by Julia Justiss is a 2016 Harlequin Historical publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Honor, passion, and politics collide when the Duchess of Ashedon and her old friend David Tanner Smith meet up once again when he saves her from an attack by street thugs. For Davie the reunion is bittersweet because Faith Evers is the only woman he has loved and ever will love. But, because he is the orphan son of a farmer, he knows they can never enjoy the kind of relationship he yearns for.
Faith is widowed with small children, living in the shadow of her husband’s many infidelities and forced to live under the thumb of her mother-in-law while staving off the advances of her brother-in-law.
Meeting up with Davie and spending time with him has given her a much need reprieve as she pours her heart out to him. But, Davie is not the kind of man to settle for an affair. He would not dishonor Faith or himself in such a way. Can Faith ever make him see that he is no longer that orphan boy, and marrying him would not be beneath her station?
This story is both a second chance at love story and a friends to lovers story which makes it especially appealing. David has always loved Faith, but Faith thought of him more as a friend until now. David was too hung up on his sense of honor, and I became as frustrated with him as Faith did. But, by the same token, Faith was also reticent, afraid that David’s love would not last.
I actually liked that David was unwilling to settle for just an affair, and insisted on marriage. I understood Faith’s fears, but David deserved more than she was willing to accept at first. In the end, both parties had to compromise and listen to what their hearts were telling them and take a leap of faith. David’s gesture to Faith that proved his undying love for her, past and present, was the sweetest and most heart melting moment you could ever imagine.
I always enjoy Julia Justiss’ regency romance novels, and this one is no exception.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julia Justiss grew up breathing the scent of sea air near the colonial town of Annapolis, Maryland, a fact responsible for two of her life-long passions: sailors and history! By age twelve she was a junior tour guide for Historic Annapolis, conducting visitors on walking tours through the city that was a hotbed of revolutionary fervor. (Annapolis hosted its own tea party, dispensing with the cargo aboard the "Peggy Stewart," and was briefly capital of the United States.) She also took tourists through Annapolis's other big attraction, the United States Naval Academy. After so many years of observing future naval officers at P-rade and chapel, it seemed almost inevitable that she eventually married one.
But long before embarking on romantic adventures of her own, she read about them, transporting herself to such favorite venues as ancient Egypt, World War II submarine patrols, the Old South and, of course, Regency England. Soon she was keeping notebooks for jotting down story ideas. From plotting adventures for her first favorite heroine Nancy Drew she went on to write poetry in high school and college, then worked as a business journalist doing speeches, sales promotion material and newsletter articles. After her marriage to a naval lieutenant took her overseas, she wrote the newsletter for the American Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia and traveled extensively throughout Europe. Before leaving Tunis, she fulfilled her first goal: completing a Regency novel.
Children intervened, and not until her husband left the Navy to return to his Texas homeland did she sit down to pen a second novel. The reply to her fan mail letter to a Regency author led her to Romance Writers of America. From the very first meeting, she knew she'd found a home among fellow writers--doubtless the largest group of people outside a mental institution who talk back to the voices in their heads.
Her second goal was achieved the day before her birthday in May, 1998 when Margaret Marbury of Harlequin Historicals offered to buy that second book, the Golden-Heart-Award winning novel that became THE WEDDING GAMBLE. Since then, she has gone on to write fourteen novels, three novellas and an on-line serial, along the way winning or finalling for historical awards from The Golden Quill, the National Reader’s Choice, Romantic Times, and All About Romance’s Favorite Book of the Year.
Julia now inhabits an English Georgian-style house she and her husband built in the East Texas countryside where, if she closes her eyes and ignores the summer thermometer, she can almost imagine she inhabits the landscape of "Pride and Prejudice." In between travelling to visit her three children (a naval officer son stationed in Washington, DC, a textiles and design major daughter who cheers for University of Texas at Austin, and a mechanical engineering major son also at UT Austin) keeping up with her science teacher husband and juggling a part-time day job as a high school French teacher, she pursues her first and dearest love--crafting stories.
To relax, she enjoys watching movies, reading (historical fiction, mystery, suspense) and puttering about in the garden trying to kill off more weeds than flowers