Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.
Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick—returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man—cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.
Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is betrothed now to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution to fight for a love that could once again set him free.
Sebastian Easton has returned to London to reclaim his title as Duke of Keswick from his power-hungry uncle who may have murdered his father and threatened the lives of him and his younger brothers. (Whew!) As complicated as that description is, the plot is relatively simple: regaining what was lost.
Thanks to a tip from his childhood friend Mary, Sebastian and his brothers are able to escape their uncle. All the boys are scarred in part to their respective upbringings, but as young men, only Sebastian wears his scars proudly on the outside for all to see. He is haunted by his need to reclaim everything that once belonged to him and he is especially enchanted by Mary, now all grown up and betrothed to someone else.
Mary Wynne-Jones waited for Sebastian at the old abbey ruins as he'd instructed the night he and his brothers fled, but when he did not appear, she believed he'd forgotten his long-ago promise. Mary herself broke a promise to Sebastian and was punished by her father for it, sent to a nunnery until her aunt brought her out into society. She's now made a good match, though her intended doesn't fire her passions like Sebastian.
Of course obstacles like Sebastian's uncle and Mary's betrothed won't stand in the way of their happiness. So while the plot is a little predictable, Ms. Heath's writing kept me engaged from chapter one. With her, I'm confident I'll have a great story to read.
(A very special thank you to Avon, Harper Collins and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of She Tempts the Duke.)