“Do not be frightened of what love will cost you, be frightened of what you might lose if you deny your love.”
They could not be more inappropriate or unsuitable for one another– but the heart wants what it wants.
His first appearance before the Dowager Duchess is delayed by a shirtless dowse under an outdoor spigot the laundry women cannot stop swooning over. And as much as she disapproves of him, Philippa Kirkpatrick wishes she’d gotten a glimpse of William Montclair’s bare chest as well.
The new steward is not the stodgy stick in the mud everyone expected. He is a brash, strikingly handsome American who whispers sweet nothings with the aplomb of a French courtier. He is brimming with both ideas and competency, despite his lack of experience managing an estate.
Philippa has managed her adopted grandmother’s affairs with a deft hand since she turned eighteen. She has tracked the correspondence and the accounts and resents the intrusion of someone who appears to be a cavalier interloper.
William and Philippa are thrown together so that he has a guide to the tenants, the estate’s concerns and the reparations to be made. The more time they spend with one another, the greater their feelings become.
But William has secrets he cannot share, and Pippa needs the safety and security of marriage to a landed gentleman. Any future seems doomed before it begins.
I loved this story of the loss and obstinacy that has shaped the lives of this couple. They cling to the expectations of others until they realize nothing matters if you do not have love.