Seductive and mysterious, Merlyn was the laird of Ravensmuir — never had a man so stirred my body and soul. I gave myself to him — willingly, trustingly, passionately — and we soon wed. Then a horrible revelation emerged, shattering my innocence and my marriage…
Five years later, Merlyn returned to my doorstep, desperate for my help. The scoundrel swore he was haunted by memories of me, that a treasure locked in Ravensmuir could clear his name. Yet I could not surrender to his will again. Now he is said to be murdered and Ravensmuir has fallen into my hands.
But even as I cross the threshold of this cursed keep, I hear his whisper in the darkness, feel his caress in the night, and I know that Merlyn has told me but part of his tale. Should I do as is right and expose his lair? Or dare I trust my alluring but deceptive spouse – the rogue who destroyed my heart?
Goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book from a series new to you. A lot can happen over the Christmas tidings, as Ysabella and Merlyn are about to find out.
Kinfairlie is a small village where a tale surrounds it of the demise of Laird and Lady Kinfairlie and their family. Burned to the ground waiting to be reclaimed by its rightful heir. It’s the sister keep of Ravensmuir which was taken over by Merlyn’s father Avery Lammergeier. One whose idea of trade was tainted by how greedy he got and how easily the lies started to unfurl.
Merlyn is a rogue of a man who needs to find out who tried to kill him and why, but not before trying to woo his wayward wife back where she belongs. It’s time she heard the truth, this time from him and not twisted by another. It seems Ysabella detests lies but is now holding on to a few herself. Classic communication issues arise between these two that need a swift fix it they are to outwit those that would harm them.
Seductive and mysterious are two very good words to describe Merlyn. He tempts Ysabella still no matter her reasons for leaving in the first place and his lure to get her back is risky. She knows he plays games but seeks truth, not just passion, from the moment she is back in his presence. Can she truly let herself be pulled back into his world or will she need to flee again?
Whirlwind romance, passion galore or love at first sight? Either way their lives were entwined the moment Merlyn set eyes on Ysabella at the Kinfairlie market. She had such quick wit and sharp responses that he knew he had met his match, one he very much wanted to keep. She might have willingly gone with him to wed, and then to bed, but knew very little of his nature. So-called truths told from another and her fears of it made her, and in turn her family, run back to the village.
I’m not sure if she wished he’d tracked her down sooner but five years is a long time so when he comes calling seeking her aid she doesn’t want to trust him. Could her decision be too hasty though as word later the next night from his right-hand man Fitz brings news to turn her soul cold? She has a chance of a better life for her brother Tynan (though I think we know from the start there’s more to it) and her sister Mavella when the estate in name passes to her and wastes no time in taking it for their sakes. But has the one man who stirs her soul tricked her? Danger falls within the Ravensmuir keep and Ysabella might have need of a few tricks herself to outwit those that might harm her. Also to try to figure out what her husband has need of her for. Could she get what she’s always wanted from him? Love can be fickle if never spoken aloud. Maybe it should be, among other things, so the air can clear and they can start anew. Well if the troubles of the past will let them that is.
Interesting characters throughout but Ada is just a woman scorned who wishes to blame her misfortune on others and not herself. Also by the end she’s just a bit batshit crazy that you long for her own downfall. Her brother Arnulf is a calm, loyal servant to his master Merlyn and someone you would always want watching your back.
Passionate rogue found a way to get his wayward wife back, whether he can convince her to stay is something else entirely. Fun, intriguing read from start to finish. Some secrets and twists easy to spot, others came up to surprise you that I liked.
4 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.