A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Marked Lord by Sharon Ibbotson - Feature and Review


Like forbidden fruit, forbidden love is more sweet…

It’s 1803 and widowed aristocrat Sophy De Browarec must flee France after being exposed as an undercover British agent. Fearing for her life, she returns to Cornwall to seek help from the only living link to her past, Fitzwilliam ‘Fitz’ Ravensbourne. 

Lord Ravensbourne has suffered his own share of misfortune and it’s left its mark in more ways than one. He has become a near recluse at the Ravensbourne Estate, but still reluctantly accepts Sophy into his home. 
Sophy and Fitz’s relationship is strained and her return could bring danger to Ravensbourne – but there is something that prevents Fitz from casting her out, something almost forbidden...



The Marked LordThe Marked Lord by Sharon Ibbotson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marked Lord by Sharon Ibbotson is a 2019 Choc lit publication.

Love dark, brooding and scarred heroes? Tired of Regency period romance? Enjoy a little intrigue and mystery with your romance? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this book might just be in your wheelhouse.

As Britain officially declares war on France, Sophy De Browarec, a spy for the British, finds herself in serious trouble. Widowed, with nowhere to hide, Sophy can only think of one place she can seek refuge.

After a lengthy absence, Sophy returns to Cornwall, the home she was raised in, and to the only living person she has a connection with- Fitzwilliam ‘Fitz’ Ravensbourne.

Fitz was badly burned in his youth, leaving him permanently disfigured. His father was set to marry Sophy’s mother, but she passed away before the wedding could take place, leaving Sophy orphaned.

Fitz’s father provided for Sophy, but now, after his father’s death, Fitz controls the estate.
The last thing the reclusive Fitz needs is a visit from Sophy. Why has she suddenly returned to Cornwall after having heard nothing from her in ages?

This story is quite absorbing, with mysteries and secrets abounding, along with a few interesting twists. The characters are well drawn, and developed, and the dialogue is authentic and realistic. I loved the time frame for this book. Everyone knows about my continual complaint about the oversaturation of Regency period historical romance, so the Georgian period setting amid the Napoleonic War is a welcome change of pace.

But it is the slightly forbidden romantic development, along with Fitz’s embittered and scarred facial countenance and his brooding demeanor is what really drew me in and gave the story a darker tone than your typical historical romance. The story begins on a suspenseful note, then settles into a slower pace, creating a mild Gothic tone at times, then picks up speed again, adding a bit of adventure and suspense into the mix.

The book is not very long, so there is a lot packed into a small space, but the character development never suffered, and the story was not at all rushed. This is an impressive debut, and I will be keeping my eye on this promising new author!



Sharon is Australian but has lived in the UK for nearly twenty years. She started writing romance when she ran out of Sweet Valley High movies to read. She lives in London with her husband and two kids. Her professional background is in marketing and she has a degree in anthropology and gender studies from the University of Edinburgh. She loves reading and writing regency romance novels, especially those with a more gothic and darker tone.

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