Feature book: Four Times a Virgin
The hero and heroine in this book have had a harsh upbringing. The old Duke is responsible for many things that have happened to both of them. Can they sort through the issues to find their HEA?
Maximus Meacham, Duke of Stirkton, is looking for information so that he can make amends to the many women who have been debased by his grandfather. He has been through his grandfather’s papers to find all the women to whom he believes he owes an apology because of his grandfather’s actions. He has had a very depraved upbringing mostly due to his grandfather, who would organise for him to have a virgin on his birthday, which is among the many other beliefs his grandfather had. Max is brought up to believe that his parents did not like him and that there were certain expectations. It is his responsibility to carry them through.
Carina, Countess of Dorchester, has been married to a depraved man. She is looking for information on the fourth man who was to be sold her virginity. Max was first and then her stepbrother sold her three more times. Something happened before the fourth man could sleep with her, but she wants to find him and make him pay. She has two sisters she wants to protect from her stepbrother, and she is willing to coerce Max into sponsoring them for the month they are together, so that they can find decent and caring men.
It is rumoured that Carina killed her husband (the Earl), but given his depravity, it is considered a blessing. She is very protective of her younger sisters and only wants the best for them. She wants them to be with husbands who adore them. Georgie had been able to see that not all men are the same when her sister becomes involved with Max. Georgie had a husband who would injure her in many ways, which meant that she has become afraid of overbearing men, but to everyone’s amazement, she likes and has no fear of Max. It is nice to see that she is able to find a man who treats her in the manner she should be.
Max is betrothed to seventeen-year-old Alice, whose mother has high expectations. What else can be more powerful than being mother-in-law to a Duke? Unfortunately Max has very little in common with Alice. He brushes off the need to get to know Alice better, as she only has to give him an heir. Then they can live their separate lives and Max can continue as before.
Throughout the story we learn more about the history of both Max and Carina. Carina was sold to Max’s grandfather, so that he could give Max one of many sexual experiences. When Max and Carina reconnect, the initial chemistry ignites. Together they work through and find out the truth of the fourth man. The confrontation with the fourth man proves to be the catalyst for Max and Carina to finally say what they need to say to each other.
This is a historical that takes a look at the darker side of the ton, but it is a good read. I was a little confused at the beginning, trying to work out what was happening, but that could have been jetlag.
Reviewed by Heather
A review copy of this book was provided by the author. ARRA members who leave a comment by 26 November 2015 will go into the draw to win a copy of the book. (The giveaway is now closed. The winner was Louisa M.)