Feature book: The Wickedest Lord Alive
Xavier Westruther, Marquis of Steyne, is a bad boy, a rake and with no obvious cares. He has had a bad start in life with his parents, a mother Nerissa who is cruel and uncaring and a father who is not caring either. Xavier is taken in by the Duke of Montford. There he leads a normal life with his cousins and sister Rosamund but he will never love. He has built a wall around himself. He leads a very scandalous life giving parties that most of the Ton would not go to. They tend to be orgies but he very rarely participates. He spends most of his time in his library but his parties are the talk of everyone.
Lady Alexandra Simmons, daughter of the Earl of Bute, has also led a very unhappy life, living with her cruel father. She has led a very lonely life but when she is told she must marry, she is hoping that this will take her away from here for good and maybe she will know some happiness.
When Xavier’s mother runs up a huge debt to the cruel Lord Bute and has no way to repay it, she convinces Xavier that if he marries the Lord’s daughter his vowels will be returned. Even though he does not love his mother, she is still his mother and he must protect her at all costs. So he agrees to marry Lady Alexandra and consummates the marriage. He is kind to her but leaves her as soon as the deed is done. But Xavier’s conscience gets the better of him and he returns to take her away. What he finds shocks him and by the time he sorts this out, his new wife has vanished.
Eight years later things have changed for Xavier. He needs an heir and must find his wife. He arrives in the small village of Little Thurston where his wife has been living with the Vicar and his wife under another name. She has become Lizzie Albright, under the guise of having amnesia and not remembering who she is. Lizzie is well liked in the town and is a caring, honest, kind person and does not miss her old life at all.
Lizzie is stunned when Xavier and his cousin Lydgate arrive in Little Thurston. This then starts a wonderful journey as Xavier and Lizzie get to know each other and both are determined to seduce each other. Lizzie will not just agree to give him an heir without love and Xavier is determined that love does not exist. No journey runs smoothly and this one has a lot of ups and downs. There is such a spark between them but there are people who will meddle as they try hard to keep the fact that they are already married a secret. Then Nerissa arrives and throws another spanner in the works that could very well upend all that Xavier has worked for.
This is such a wonderful story. It will have you smiling and tearing up at times as Xavier and Lizzie get their HEA with a fantastic suspenseful ending. Seeing Lizzie start to break down that wall that Xavier has built around him is such a joy. I have always love Ms Brooke’s stories. They are magical and this one is no exception. I highly recommend her stories and this series is so, so good.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.