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Scandalous Regency Widows #1

Lady Beauchamp's Proposal

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A runaway countess finds love when she least expects it…but she can’t hide from her past forever.

Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp, fears for her life. When she discovers her dissolute and long-estranged husband has syphilis—and he wants to beget an heir no matter the cost—she flees to a remote part of Scotland to begin a new life as the widowed governess, Mrs. Beth Eliott at Eilean Tor Castle.

When Mrs. Eliott unexpectedly arrives on his doorstep, the reclusive and recently widowed Marquess of Rothsburgh is both irritated and intrigued. No longer in need of a governess—his young daughter now resides with his sister’s family in Edinburgh—he proposes the beautiful widow fill a position of a different kind…

Torn between staying true to her marriage vows and her wanton attraction to the devilishly handsome marquess, Elizabeth struggles against the temptation to become his mistress. But living a lie is not easy when you have fallen in love. And secrets always have a way of coming out…

299 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 6, 2014

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About the author

Amy Rose Bennett

31 books460 followers
Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favourite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 161 reviews
Profile Image for Lady Nilambari Reads HR.
427 reviews110 followers
August 25, 2023

Re-read July 2023.

Oh. My. God. You know, fluffy reads have their place on your lists, but sometimes what you need is a gritty, angsty, heart-wrenching, heart-warmingly haunting story, and Amy Rose Bennett delivered all of that and more. My gut felt this tale, vaulting Ms Bennet to the top bracket of my favourite authors.

My Thoughts
- This book is written so well that every feeling jumps off the page to hit you, grip you & awe you.
- I fed off of this morally grey kind of plot. There was no right or wrong, no yes or no, no black or white, but there were only raw emotions, and there was love. An ill-fated, searing, all-consuming love. This is what good romances are made of.
- Elizabeth was such a strong heroine. Her strength, her fortitude, her fight, her passion, her fears, and her love was so real. I was there with her every step of the way, silently encouraging her and keeping my fingers crossed for a much-deserved HEA. If anyone deserved happiness, it was her.
- James. My goodness, James. Talk about a swoon-worthy hero done right. He was strong, caring, protective, adoring, vulnerable, he found her hairpins, he loved her, he admitted he loved her, he let her go, he waited for her, he went back for her. *Lower lip trembles*
- Fate had different plans for these ill-fated lovers. They were always meant for one another. It was decided a long while ago, they just did not know it yet, and this is what I took away from their romance - that it would be a love for the ages. It was intense, passionate and sizzling. Their heat was not smutty, nothing so crass. Their coming together was making love, not fucking. There is a big difference between the two, and this book highlighted that.

PS - It needed an epilogue. No, I want an epilogue. I am writing to Ms Bennet requesting/ demanding an epilogue.

My Recommendation
I decided to read this book because I watched the author read a one-star review about it, and that made me curious.

All I want to say to that reader is, come and speak with me. We are going to have a healthy exchange of views, then I am going to show you how wrong you are, and then I am going to win the argument. Yes, I am that competitive, even if it makes me look petty!

Turn. This. Book. Into. A. Movie. Now.
Profile Image for Mei.
1,882 reviews424 followers
August 6, 2015
A solid historical romance!

I liked it, but didn't loved it. I really don't know why... It IS a very well written book, with nice characters and a very complicated situation, but there was something about it that bothered me.

The heroine, Beth was a woman in a very thorny situation and I could understand her actions: who wouldn't run in order to save its own life?! And it wasn't because of physical abuse, like in so many romance novels, but because it was a dire health threat. If she remained I don't have the slightest doubt that she would have died!

Also the hero, James, has his own problems. He's a widower and a recluse, but he was such a nice person. His relcusion was not because he had PTSD, nor because he hates womankind, or because he have hideous scars, but because he couldn't bear how would the ton view him if his secret (and it was not so secret at all!!!) comes out in public! And it was not his fault at all!

They were perfect for each other and their chemistry was at the same time sweet and overwhelming. Their actions were also logical and I don't have nothing to say about the choises they made.

So, as you can see I really don't know why I didn't loved it, since it has all the elements for a great love story!
Maybe it's just me...
You should read it though and decide by yourself! :)
Profile Image for ᑭᑌᑎƳᗩ [Punya Reviews...].
874 reviews208 followers
October 14, 2014
My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book... for more, visit Punya Reviews...

Amy Rose Bennett was a complete new-to-me author when I found myself hosting a blog tour on Lady Beauchamp's Proposal. It was one of those rare finds where I had no idea what to expect, yet it blew my mind. The storyline was pretty unconventional, as were the twists. I was honestly expecting a been-there-done-that governess storyline but found something much more dark and deep. I loved the author’s writing too. So much emotion, with so many heart-tugging moments that I cried, laughed, grinned and sighed all over it!

Elizabeth’s marriage was supposed to be a match-made-in-heaven. After all, she was swept away by one of the most sought after bachelors of the season, all golden good-looks and charming smiles. Hugh was her first crush, first love, first lover... and the first man to show her how cruel a man can be, too. Elizabeth, or Beth, was in love but all her hopes were crushed when her ‘beloved’ husband started showing his true face very soon after their marriage. Not only he cast her aside calling her a ‘cold fish’ but also, he started breaking every vow he made on their wedding day. He was a known rake before marriage and went back to his former lifestyle with gusto; bad friends plus all sorts of debauchery with gambling, drinking and whoring. Beth learned that she had married a shallow, self-centered piece of a$$; sparkly on the outside, empty on the inside.

Hugh’s revelries were known throughout the Ton, making Beth embarrassed and humiliated more often than not. But she has been the epitome of ‘good and biddable’ wife as her duty commanded. It’s also been more than a year that Hugh has made demands to exert his ‘husbandly rights’. Beth’s life was empty but at least she had many duties to perform on behalf of her rich husband.

Then one day, a letter came to Beth, from one of Hugh’s many mistresses informing her of something that shatters Beth’s world once again. No, it’s not about Hugh’s infidelity. Beth has known about that for long now, but something more sinister. Hugh has STD, more specifically, syphilis; an unsurprising result of so much debauchery without any caution whatsoever. The mistress-without-name warns Beth not to make the same mistake she had made and now paying for. Without a second thought, Beth knew she had to run. If Hugh ever wants to have sex, she can’t deny him his ‘rights’ and no one is going to save her either. Beth doesn’t want to die, not with something that wasn’t her fault to begin with.

Yet, Hugh does come to her one night, looking lost in thought, rather forlorn. It has suddenly occurred to him that he needs to beget an heir, hence this visit. But Beth is determined, maybe for the first time, to get away so that Hugh doesn’t find her, ever.

We don’t get to know exactly how Beth manages to escape Hugh that night for a long time in the story. Rather, we find her journeying to Scotland in hopes of becoming a governess to the recluse Marquess of Rothsburgh’s only daughter. His wife, as rumored, has passed a while ago. One of Beth’s charity sponsors is Rothsburgh’s sister, and it was through her that Beth got this information. Of course, she couldn’t say anything to anyone but had to journey as a widowed soldier’s wife, Mrs. Elliott.

It seems Rothsburgh’s monolithic castle, Elean Tor, sits on the farthest reaches of the Highlands, as forbidding in appearance as it is in its structure. The castle has a causeway that drowns in the high tide, leaving it completely detached from the mainland. I actually kept imagining how that castle must’ve looked like. A stormy day finds a newly arrived Beth on her way to her destination when no one would even think of venturing out there, making her way through the churning ocean around the causeway. But Beth is desperate, she has no place to stay. Then, upon her arrival, when she keeps beating on the door, no one would answer. A despondent Beth was about to turn back when a big, bearded man in his shirt-sleeves opens the door, scowling squarely at her, as if to show that she was disturbing his ‘quiet and peace’.

Naturally, Beth was wet and tired and took the man as the grouchy butler. She requests the Marquess’s company and states the reason for her arrival. The man, though reluctant, takes her in. The huge mansion seemed abandoned, with nary a light or a human being, in sight. At one point, when she’s taken to the library, the man in question, who introduced himself as ‘James’, brings her tea. It’s in her hazy, fevered state, Beth realizes that this, indeed, is the Marquess himself! But she wasn’t in any state to refuse or refute anything. Beth looses consciousness, leaving James to ponder what to do with this beautiful bundle, who, as he finds out, has a high fever raging through her.

James’s life, also, should’ve been enchanted. If I try to talk of that, it’d almost echo Beth’s own. He married the most sought after debutante of the Ton, the daring beauty that every man at that time would die for, Isabelle. James thought himself in love, and gave everything. Unfortunately, the daring beauty had nothing to give him in return. James has heard of Isabelle’s ‘wild ways’ but didn’t give that any thought until he realized his ‘beloved’ wife carries the child of another man! Every illusion he might’ve had regarding their marriage was shattered soon afterwards. And when Annabelle started growing up, it was plain to see that she was not his. James is tall and hunky, with dark hair and eyes. Isabelle also had dark hair. But Annabelle has golden curls with a pair of sparkling blue eyes.

It hurt James so much, knowing that Isabelle never truly cared for him, let alone love, that he decided to go his separate ways. There was no marriage to speak of as Isabelle was living her own life mired in all sorts of debauchery. James became the laughingstock of the Ton due to her wild escapades. He moved away, also took mistresses, to forget a life he so wanted yet never truly had. The only good thing of this marriage probably was, his daughter, Annabelle. He was determined to take care of her, give her a proper life, shading her from her mother’s scandals as much as possible.

Some months ago, Isabelle committed suicide. It’s not known, much later into the story, exactly why but James never mourned her. He didn’t care. But he returned here and has been living like this. His sister, Helena, has insisted on a governess to take care of the 4yrs. old but James had no interest. Meanwhile, Annabelle was taken away for a visit to Helena’s back in Edinburgh. Apparently, the governess, Mrs. Elliott as she introduced herself before fainting, doesn’t know of this nugget of information. Unfortunately, or fortunately, her delicate beauty has already called out to James’s protective side rather bad. And now, he doesn’t really want her to go. Not that the weather would permit either. Still... James is adamant about knowing Mrs. Elliott a little better. Maybe they can work something out after all.

By which I mean James had an inclination of making Beth his mistress for as long as she’s here. He thought it’d be a perfect, seeing she needs money and shelter. It’s not as if anyone is going to come to look for any scandal in this godforsaken part of the country. He doesn’t have many servants, but they’re loyal, so keeping it a secret wouldn’t be difficult. But first, he needs to woo Mrs. Elliott, for it was very obvious that Beth is not the type of woman he usually made his mistresses in the past.

As James nurses her back to life, Beth is overwhelmed with gratitude. Yet soon, she’s informed that she’s not needed as a governess since her would-be charge is not at residence. When a dejected Beth, who suddenly becomes fearful of discovery, not having any other plan or destination in mind, turns to leave, James gives her a proposition. Well not what he had in mind, but something that can work out… for now. Elean Tor needs a housekeeper and Mrs. Elliott can see to that duty right away for as long as she’s here.

Beth is completely relived because she read the spark of interest, and lust?, in her employer’s eyes. He seems to be genuinely happy to have her around, as his servants will confide in her. Beth knew she probably wore the same look, with flush and all, for she can’t stop staring at this handsome man. When she first planned on coming here, Beth certainly wasn’t expecting a virile young Marquess to be waiting! Now that he has cleaned up and she can see his sharp bone structure and muscular body... Beth begins feeling things she never even felt for Hugh. Hugh, her husband, who doesn’t know where she is. Yet. Beth feels guilty of betraying her vows even by fantasizing about Rothsburgh. But she can’t deny the pull between them whenever they’re talking or smiling at each-other. The ‘click’ has happened on the first sight and there was no turning back.

It was only a matter of time that Beth and James become lovers. It just seemed that natural to me. Though Beth had repeatedly been burdened with guilt about committing adultery, she also realized the only person who has ever made her happy has to be James. She loves everything about him, maybe she’s even falling in love with the man himself. And though, she knows their affair would lead to heartbreak for, Beth gives in. TBH, I wasn’t happy that she was only happy to have an affair, but I also saw how difficult her life was going to be, not to mention if Hugh ever finds her out.....

The sex scenes were HOT and intense. Gradually, the bond that initiated on the first moment begins to grow stronger, too. Though James didn’t think ahead of Beth’s life after she leaves here, he begins now. He starts feeling guilty of making a ‘fallen woman’ out of her. He even, call him crazy, begins contemplating a marriage! I mean, what’s stopping them? For a starter, he absolutely adores Beth. She’s beautiful, graceful, smart and very capable of running a big household like his. Moreover, she’s a widow. They can easily marry and the rest of the society can go hang themselves. It’s not like James care for them anyway. Unfortunately, one day, Helena’s husband suddenly arrives with a friend in tow. This guy, a notorious rake, instantly zooms in on Beth and begins perusing her, his intentions clear. And from that ensues bigger trouble. Beth had a feeling that the man just might know her identity, seeing he’s the type Hugh normally consorts with. When he tries to force himself on Beth, James sees red. He beats the crap outta him, probably would’ve killed him had Beth not stopped him, he was that angry.

Though his BIL leaves with his troublesome friend, Beth knew her time here has come to an end. At the same time, James decides to propose to her, his feelings for her clearer than ever. I couldn’t even imagine what was going on in Beth’s mind at that time but there was nothing she could do but to deny James. It hurts the poor man so much, and since Beth didn’t confide in him, James was left to ponder why wouldn’t she accept his proposal! The old wounds open up along with the pain of rejection. So unfair! I already knew Beth is in love with James, so, for me, it was such an unhappy situation.

It so happens, Beth leaves at dawn, scared and lonely, hurt and miserable. She has already had a job in mind and decides to journey there. James, on the other hand, is shocked to hear she left. He was drunk last night, drowning out his hurt and confusion in liquor again. But he never wanted Beth to leave. When he finds out where she’s headed, James immediately rushes out to after her. On his way, James begins mulling over the last few days and suddenly, the puzzles were falling in place. From the bits and pieces of conversation he and his unwanted guest had before they left, James has heard that Beauchamp’s wife is missing. She’s also one of the patronesses and used to know Helena. James knew of Hugh’s notoriety and wondered what if... then, when the guy mentioned that Beth kinda looks like her, all pale and cold, James just knew in his guts exactly why Beth ran away the moment he proposed.

James tracks down Beth quite easily and this time, he was not letting her slip away again. He informs her that he knows. He also requests her to make him understand. After a night of frantic lovemaking, they talk... and from that the whole sordid affair comes pouring in; the betrayal, the hurt and the humiliation. Beth is shocked but not entirely surprised to know Hugh having a long time affair with Isabelle, and that Annabelle is, indeed, his daughter. Because Hugh didn’t have marriage in mind that Isabelle ensnared the next fool, who just happened to be Rothsburgh. Then there were more of the unsavory stuff that James informs Beth, who was too innocent even to know the kind of perversion Isabelle and Hugh loved immersing themselves in. That it was Isabelle who, when she found out she also contracted syphilis, thanks to her last visit to Hugh, and dying, had written that letter as a last attempt to perhaps allay her guilty conscience. Beth didn’t know her, didn’t know that she committed suicide either. But now, all was out in the open. Beth feels so much sadness, for James, for even Isabelle and Hugh and this completely f*cked up situation that they all find themselves in. James and Beth, it seemed were paired with the wrong people, at the wrong time and suffered. The irony now is that, though they’re finally together, they can’t really be together in any real sense as long as Hugh is alive. :(

James would protect Beth from anyone, even Hugh, but being her husband, he’d always have the upper hand through law and in the eyes of the society. But they plan to return to Edinburgh for the time being, with James asking Beth to live with him for long as they can. He also promises Beth that he’d wait for her, no matter how long it takes and would marry her when the time comes. After all, James wanted that even before he knew everything. Beth is overwhelmed with this reciprocation of her feelings for the first time in her life, as she was only happy to return. Also with gratitude. Life is good now, them being together, but for how long?

One day, James proposes that she meet Annabelle. It was one of the most heartfelt moments for Beth for the girl looked so much like Hugh that her heart gave a lurch. Maybe, in another lifetime, she would’ve borne her and they would be happy together... Then Annabelle goes and breaks her heart by asking Beth if she’s going to be her mother with such a longing in her voice... Beth doesn’t know what to answer. She wants to, oh so much, but will that day ever come?

Unfortunately, they are soon discovered by Hugh, with a demand that Beth returns with him. He’s mad knowing where she has been. Beth doesn’t deny anything, neither does he deny that he had always known of Annabelle’s existence. She is forced to leave James on threat, something that was already breaking her heart. But knowing Hugh, he probably had an ulterior motive. It surfaces soon enough, the same demand; he needs an heir, and Beth will provide it to him somehow. He knows he can’t impregnate her anymore, not without ruining his ‘plan’, so Hugh orders Beth to go and be with James for one night. Beth is utterly shocked by Hugh’s suggestion. What a joke it’d be for all of them! But it also means she can see him again, and so, Beth grabs that chance...

That one night, no matter the reasons why, was probably one of the most intense nights of their lives. James and Beth have always had this chemistry between them, but that night surpassed all the intensity of their previous lovemaking. James is angry knowing Hugh’s plan, but what can they do but to grab this opportunity to be together one last time, when their future, if any, is so uncertain? Beth pleads to James to move on and find someone else but how can he? No one would ever make him as happy as his Beth has made him these past few months. James can never have anyone else.

I found James to be an intensely sexy hero. Many-a-times, he reminded me of those sexy Lisa Kleypas heroes I loved drooling over (still do!). Though the fact that he had taken mistresses throughout his marriage bugged me initially, after knowing the farce he was force to endure, I couldn’t blame him at all. I can’t expect him to be celibate when Isabelle had a male harem of her own. Neither was I disturbed by Beth and James becoming lover for I never doubted James’s love and loyalty to the person he bestows it upon. Beth also proved that she’s a much stronger woman than I initially gave her the credits for. It never, once, occurred to me that they don’t belong to each-other. I HATE reading adultery in a novel, but in here, it wasn’t really an issue for me. I SO wanted Beth and James to be together that I was absolutely heartbroken with the realization that there’s a chance that that day may never come. I can’t even explain the heartache I suffered with them, and the tear it brought to my eyes. :(

The ending was really good. I’d say that the situation was solved to my liking. I LOVED it, except that an epilogue would’ve made me happier. But I ended Lady Beauchamp's Proposal with the knowledge that James and Beth are finally going to be happy, what more could I have asked for? Their new bundle of joy only made it more of an occasion for celebration. I mean, talk about me having a silly grin on my face. :D

There was no way I was going to rate this book any less than 5 stars! I’d say, do yourself a favor and read this book. You won’t regret it.

I received a review copy from Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange of an honest review as a part of a blog tour, August 2014.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
740 reviews319 followers
October 26, 2017
A better title for this would be "The Boinking of Lady Beauchamp". There's very little actual story here. I calculate that more than half the pages are sex scenes between H and h. Now, I have nothing against sex. It's a very important part of life. It's just that if I'm reading a bunch of it in a book I also want a bunch of pages of real, interesting plot to round it out. Otherwise, I feel as if I've wandered into mild erotica. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, if it's what you like.)

So what's the plot? (SPOILERS ahead, I guess.) Lady Beauchamp is married to the man-slut from hell who she has recently learned (via a letter from one of his mistresses) has syphilis. When he decides to return to her marital bed to beget an heir, she begets herself out of there and runs far away to Scotland as anonymous Mrs. Beth Elliot, applying for the job of governess to the daughter of our hero the Marquess of Rothsburgh, recently widowed and also very horny (perhaps just specifically in the presence of our heroine).

He doesn't need a governess because he has sent his daughter off to live with his sister and her husband, but to keep Beth around he offers her the job of housekeeper. Said job soon devolves into housekeeper-cum-mistress. She turns out to be almost as horny as he.

That's about it. They have lots of sex in lots of places. Some friends of his come to visit and then leave. Her husband learns her whereabouts and retrieves her. He is fortunately good enough to not touch her (even though it is his right as her husband) because of his contagious state, and then conveniently dies a few months later. And, voila HEA.

Where's the Gothic component? I read a few reviews describing this as Gothic and a bit of a mystery. It's not Gothic, it's just boring, unless you like a lot of sex and also enjoy somewhat salacious information about the sex lives of people (not the H and h) with STDs and no morals.
Profile Image for Lynne Connolly.
Author 136 books310 followers
February 29, 2016
I wanted to enjoy this, but the book was historically inaccurate, and with far too many typos and anachronisms. It is badly in need of a professional edit, and fact-checking. It has one editor and a proof reader credited, but even then quite a lot of grammatical and spelling errors crept through.
The cover shows a woman in the clothes of around 1880, but this book is supposed to be set in 1815.
The heroine is TSTL, running away from her husband instead of applying for a legal separation. But then she wouldn't have met the hero. She commits adultery by sleeping with Rothsborough (many, many times), so readers who dislike cheating might want to give this one a miss. No doubt her husband was a cad, but he was her husband. There is so much sex in this book.
Despite her noble birth, she takes a job as housekeeper, which would have put her beyond the pale in Regency society. The hero is a sleaze, turned on by the unconscious, sick heroine as he undresses her, which made me shudder.
Tons of anachronisms, right from "grandfather clock" on the first page through references to the "middle classes," the hero drinking whisky, having clan tartans knocking about. The heroine wears drawers and the hero knows about razor blades. Incorrect title usage adds to the mix.
It reads like the book was supposed to be set in the 1860's, and then at the last minute the author changed the date and made it Regency.
But the book has the best typo ever. “That would also explain her perfect annunciation and genteel accomplishments.” It’s down on my list of perfect typos. I had a vision of Beth soaring up to heaven on a cloud in a sea of angels. It’s a really good idea to know the difference between “enunciation” and “annunciation.”
the full review is on The Good, The Bad and The Unread http://goodbadandunread.com/2016/02/2...
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,888 followers
February 17, 2021
Lady Beauchamp's Proposal is an unexpected Regency romance. Fleeing the past can be a tricky thing, especially for a woman in the Regency period. I give huge credit to the author for an original, well-written romance. I just found myself skimming about halfway through and that is why it is only worthy of four stars.

My Rating: 4 stars
Profile Image for KyBunnies.
1,207 reviews9 followers
November 26, 2014
Originally posted at Bunny's Review

I am a sucker for anything historical, romance, fantasy, mystery does not matter. I will read it. I am deeply drawn to anything set before 1820. Some people have tried to tell me I still have memories or feeling from a past life coming thru. I honestly do not know I just think it is because some much happened along with so many different ways people think and act. When this book came up for tour I quickly stated I would read/review. I am not sorry I requested this.

Beth aka Elizabeth’s character pulled at my emotional heart strings. To know that her husband was only faithful about a month into the marriage is just unreal. Again this is a different time and it was acceptable for men to have a mistress the little wife was only good for breeding the next heir. Elizabeth seems grateful that her husband has directed his attentions on someone else until she learns he has a horrible disease. I really wonder why men (this goes for even today) had a problem using a condom (French Letter or capote). I am guessing here but surely they knew about the diseases transmitted by having sex with anything that walked. But then it was acceptable for men to treat women different and as a piece of property.

For Beth she was just property. Something her husband Hugh is only concerned with when he realized his future.

When James aka Lord Rothsburgh meet is he a little arrogant. He laughs at the reason Beth has stated she is at him estate. Overnight James decides that he wants Beth for his mistress. Okay I can understand desiring a person on site. But to immediately think a person would be perfect as your mistress. Granted James is as different from Hugh as the sun and moon are different. No matter the arrogance he shows kindness when needed and is willing to make sure those who serve him are treated as valuable. I will not get into Isabelle wife to James. That would be a whole different story and she just needs to be at her current location. In the ground.

The actions of the characters seems real to this reader. I did not agree with some of their actions but this brought them to life for me.

I truly enjoyed this book. I was quickly moved from my home in Kentucky to early 1800’s England and then to Scotland. Only thing missing for this reader is a few details on where Rothsburgh’s house was located. I would have enjoyed reading more about the location. Just my preference this in no way changes how much I enjoyed the rest of the book.

I recommend this book to any who enjoy historical romance.

The bunnies and I give this book 4 carrots.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own and do not reflect those of the author, my clients or tour companies I work with. This is not a paid review. To form your own opinion please support the author and acquire your own legal copy of the book.
385 reviews6 followers
October 13, 2014
Gothic Inspired Regency Noir par excellence!

I LOVED this powerful and emotionally charged dark and angst ridden Regency romance – it is full of secrets and suspense and brimming with raw sensuality and has a real taste of the gothic about it. It is an excellent Regency Noir read and if you enjoy books by authors such as Anna Campbell and Anne Stuart you will also revel in reading Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal, a deliciously dark, dangerous and erotic foray into this genre. The author, Amy Rose Bennett, is one to watch.

The hero James, the Marquess of Rothsburgh, holed up in his castle in the wilds of Scotland, is truly mouth-watering! A loner, with an undeserved misanthropic reputation. He is emotionally scarred not only by his time spent in the army, but also by the death of his wife. He is also unconventional and I just loved it when he decides that he wants to make the heroine his and embarks on his seduction…. The scenes between them positively smoulder, at first with sexual tension and then ignite the pages with intense, graphic and passionate scenes. The author is skilled at writing lovemaking scenes which are simultaneously romantic and erotic.

The heroine, Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp, is exceedingly brave and resourceful, fleeing to Scotland in the guise of a widowed governess to save her life. Her fear of the threat her husband Hugh poses to her very life is palpable. The last thing she expects to encounter in her flight is a real hottie of a man who will tempt her beyond all reason. Does she honour her marriage vows of should she grab her chance of happiness however brief once it presents itself? She desperately wants to conceal her secret, fearing for her life and future yet James, the object of her affection has been deceived by others in the past may find her lies unforgiveable.

There are a number of super plot twists and some truly painful and heartrending scenes and the HEA for this couple seems so elusive. I did shed some tears before the denouement, which I found wholly satisfying. I also really admired how Amy Rose Bennett included subjects which are often taboo in romance novels – infidelity and syphilis and the realistic way they were dealt with in terms of the impact they had on the individuals concerned. I recommend this to readers who are looking for a thought provoking and wholly entertaining historical romance which has plenty of heat.

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,093 reviews318 followers
January 4, 2015
I couldn’t put this book down. There were several plot twists and two in particular that had my jaw dropping open. I was immediately vested in Lady Elizabeth Beauchamps’ character. Any woman that has ever dated, let alone married, a loser knows what it’s like to realize that you must get out. I admired her tenacity and courage. She was able to go on and grab at a chance at happiness with the reclusive Lord Rothsburg aka James Huntly.

I think James’ character was the sweetest alpha male hero I’ve ever read. He’s the guy done wrong but determined to be honorable and live up to his commitment. He went through a lot of pain and disappointment prior to meeting Beth, but he opened his heart to her and nothing was off limits…sigh.

I rode all the highs and lows. I lived vicariously through Beth and James. I practically bit my nails wondering if and when Beth would be found out. I hoped their love would last, and they would find their happily ever after. They had a very active and white hot attraction between them. Beth was no shrinking wallflower when it came to pleasing her man. I think that’s one of the things that I loved is how they went all out to please each other. The author writes very well and the romantic scenes stay well away from being tacky or overly detailed.

I loved the ending of the book. Justice was served and Beth and James got their happy ending. I will definitely be reading more books by this author. I loved her writing style.

Reviewed by Michelle for Cocktails and Books
Profile Image for Missy.
713 reviews
July 29, 2023
I skimmed a lot. Either it was too descriptive or I wasn't in the mood. Their attraction felt really forced. She's ill and he notices her and gets an erection? She just ran away from her husband, yet she's not too terrified to check out her new employer. Their attraction just didn't feel organic and I think that kept me from enjoying the book.
Profile Image for Susanne.
Author 70 books70 followers
April 24, 2015
A sizzling debut from Amy Rose Bennett!
It's refreshing to read a story with a new take on life in a particular historical period and also to find an author unafraid to tackle a more serious issue; in this case, syphilis or the pox which was, at this period in history, incurable.

James and Beth are left untrusting and unwilling to try another relationship after their respective spouses have betrayed them. In the wilds of Scotland, in an isolated island castle, they must work together and learn that not everyone is as self-centred and hedonistic as their spouses. I enjoyed the setting, the sensual tension and the unusual reason for Beth's flight to Scotland and look forward to reading more by this author.

If you enjoy Regency noir, then be sure to add this one to your TBR list!
Profile Image for Elizabeth Carter.
Author 60 books348 followers
October 4, 2014
A touch of Rebecca, a dash of Jane Eyre, a sprinkling of Vanity Fair all wrapped up in a delicious package by Amy Rose Bennett.

I won't go into the plot suffice to say that the author has given us a richly drawn tale of love overcoming deceit and lies, of a heart's desire unrequited but eventually fulfilled. We get richly described scenes of Scottish landscape and Edinburgh landmarks along with a poignant love story of two wounded souls who take a chance at finding everlasting love.

There is plenty of emotional resonance in Lady Beauchamp's proposal that reminds me very much of Anna Campbell's feisty heroines and flawed but noble heroes and I can't wait to read more.
Profile Image for Rainelle.
1,562 reviews78 followers
December 15, 2020
Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal, by Amy Rose Bennett. Have you ever read a Novell and you didn’t want it to end? If you haven’t, ooh do I have a treat for you. Pull up a seat. Pour some wine.
Get comfortable and listen to this. Amy Rose, writing in this book was “amazing”. This romance novel was beautifully written. Amy Rose didn’t hold anything back. Her writing I feel was very powerful in this love story.
My impression from her writing is this, “you rocked my world, you know you did it”. First the book comes at me with suspense and it didn’t disappoint. Then comes the drama. “Say what”? The drama was at an all time high from beginning to end.
There are surprises here and their that gave me some whiplash. The action was minimum, although in the bedroom, “ooh baby”, there was a whole lot of fun going on between the sheets. I mean it was hot. Did you here me? Let me say it again.
It was H.O.T (hello orgasm tonight) hot! Girls, the steam was melting my iPad for two days. Let’s learn a little bit about the loving couple. Beth is married to Hugh whom she no longer has love for. He treats her like trash and practically abuses her with his tongue lashing.
Hugh demands something from Beth that she feels sick to her stomach to fulfill. Beth comes to only one conclusion for survival, she decides to flee into the night. Bound for Scotland, Beth meets the mysterious James at Eilean Tor castle. With the hope that James would hire her as the governess for his daughter, she arrives a day late and a dollar short to apply for the position. James, however eyes her for another position that he feels she will suit just nicely for.
Overtime, James and Beth grow very close and become lovers. The passion and the romance is so beautiful between these two. As they both become very comfortable with each other, Beth feels that she can drop her barriers. James begins to tear down his walls of solitude as well. Then one day, everything came tumbling down like a house cards.
My heart broke for James, when the truth came to fruition. The anguish. The hurt and the raw emotions during these scenes felt so real to me as the reader. Each line that I read tugged at my heart. “Why did you come hear and break my heart”, these words moved emotions that no two people fathomed their souls would drown in.
Condemning herself, can Beth live with the so called sins that she committed? Will she forgive herself and allow happiness to consume all of her or is her grief so strong that the high tides sweeps her away? Can James comeback from all the devastation that surrounds him among the cliffs of his castle? Will he inflict revenge on the one person that destroyed all his happiness? Friends, I recommend this book with two snaps and a, “I’m moving to Scotland, apparently there’s a whole lot of action going on that I’m missing over there”!
Until next time my fellow readers... read on!
Profile Image for Kah Cherub.
371 reviews47 followers
September 11, 2014
*I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I first saw this title on a Book Tour, and the minute I read the blurb and excerpt, I just knew I had to read it. I have never seen a historical romance even mention the great pox, or syphilis, before, let alone use it as such a big and important part of the plot. And that is how we first meet our heroine, Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp. Freaking out about her (drunk) husband's (unexpected) visit to her bedchamber, after a loooong dry spell. We quickly learn that the handsome blonde Hugh doesn't care much for his wife, only mistresses and whores, and it was a letter from one of those that let Elizabeth know for sure what the new "marks" on her husband were. Syphilis. Something he clearly wasn't concerned about, seeing as he, all of a sudden, wanted to try and beget an heir in her. So she did what she could. She ran!!! All the way to Scotland. ;)
There, disguised as Mrs. Beth Eliott, she starts to work for the reclusive Marquess of Rothsburgh, a dark and sensual man. Soon enough (really, instant attraction) the sparks start to fly. I enjoyed their chemistry a lot. The scenes were hot, but not at all vulgar. Rothsburg was such a touching and unique character! Betrayed and brokenhearted by his terrible witch (no offense to actuall witches) of a first wife, he was left to raise a child from another man, being known as a cuckold and a joke amongst the ton.
So, that's the thing. The book started with a bang, the secondary characters were all charming, the dialogues were smart and daring, but at some point I stopped caring about Beth a little. I'm not sure why, she just seemed to have lost her... energy, or courage. I couldn't understand or agree with some of her actions.
I LOVED the dogs from the castle!!! They were Rothsburgh's only companions. Delightful creatures, very well-portrayed. I was sincerely curious to see how the author would manage their happy ending, seeing as she was still MARRIED to her awful husband... but then we find out some very important things... and it all starts to fall into place.
Lady Beauchamp's Proposal was a lovely read, full of surprises and interesting themes we don't see much in ordinary romances. That alone is a good enough excuse for you to check it out. :) The romance was really there. I could almost feel their love for each other. Sure, we knew they would fall madly in love with each other, but it wasn't instant. The lust was instant, but the love grew. (Yes, this sounds a but yucky, but I can't help feeling sentimental once in a while).
Grab a copy and lose yourself in this amazing tale.
Profile Image for Connie.
2,047 reviews62 followers
July 20, 2016
Harcourt House, London - September 1815

Lady Elizabeth Harcourt, is preparing to flee from her husband, Hugh de Lancey Harcourt, the Earl of Beauchamp. During the few years that they have been married, Hugh has treated Elizabeth with complete disdain and has ignored her. Elizabeth has just received a letter from Hugh’s lover warning her that Hugh has the pox, or syphilis, and he has given it to her. Then, Hugh tells her he wants to make a rare visit to her to get an heir upon her. She realizes she must run away immediately. As she has worked with an organization that helps to find employment for the widows of the war, she knows that a position is available as a governess. With a few clothes packed, she manages to escapes the house.

Two weeks later. Aberdeenshire Scotland

Lady Elizabeth now calls herself Mrs. Beth Eliott, a widow, traveling to apply for the position of governess at Eileen Tor Castle in the town of Torhaven. After battling severe rains and a treacherous route to the Castle, she arrives soaked to find a huge, unwelcoming looking Castle. James Huntly, the Sixth Marquess of Rothsburgh, lives in his home with a small staff and his two deerhounds, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Beth soon finds that Isabelle, wife of the Marquess has recently passed away, leaving him with a small daughter, Annabelle. Beth is dismayed to find that Annabelle has been sent to stay with her aunt as most everyone at the Castle is down with the ague. After her long and exhausting journey, Beth soon succumbs to the illness as well.

The only person to have escaped the illness is The Marquess, so he is the only one to care for her when she lies unconscious for days with a raging fever. When she finally regains consciousness again, she is weak but determined to leave the castle as his daughter is not there for her to care for. But, she is still too ill to do so. After she slowly regains her strength, she gets to know James fairly well. He does not want her to go so he offers her the position of Housekeeper which she gratefully accepts. However, their daily closeness begins to kindle other feelings between them that sparks a fire.

But what of Hugh? Beth is still a married woman. How long can she hide from him before her whereabouts are discovered?

There is lots more to this story and I have given enough away. Suffice to say that the reader will truly enjoy this story of love, passion, and longing. I enjoyed the book very much and am delighted to have found another really good author!
Profile Image for Jude Knight.
Author 74 books199 followers
October 19, 2014
This book had me from the first page. The author beautifully captures Beth's desperate courage, and when her sleazy husband enters (on the next page) the atmosphere ratchets up another notch.

Elizabeth is the neglected and ignored wife of the dissolute Lord Beauchamp. When she escaped from him before he can infect her with syphilis, she runs as far as she can, applying for a job as governess in a remote castle in Scotland. There, she meets James, the Marquess of Rothsburgh, and the attraction between them is immediate.

Both James and Beth are decent people, tormented by the events of their pasts, guilty about their growing attraction, and troubled by self-doubt. It isn't hard to care about what happens to them. As the author turns up the heat on their sensual awareness of one another, we want them to be together despite the fact that Beth is still married.

In those days marriage really was till death. That Beth's husband is a selfish, hedonistic rat oozing a particularly nasty infection doesn't change his legal rights to insist on keeping his wife. Beth and James can't see any path to a happy ending except to wait, perhaps for years, and the last chapters turn the gothic screws tighter still, with Beth facing something worse than she can imagine (no spoilers - you'll have to read it for yourself).

I loved this book, and I found the ending very satisfying.

I have two tiny niggles.

One is the speed of the ending - ten months passes between the end of one chapter and the end of the book. It worked, but it seemed rushed to me. I'd have at least liked to see a scene played out between Beth and the two sleazes, where they make their threats to her, rather than just hear about them later when she is thinking over what they said.

The other is a continuity problem; early in the book, we're told that Beth heard about the governess job a month before the day she arrives at the castle. The person she hears talking about the job mentions that the Marquis is a recent widower. More than a fortnight after she arrives - so close to seven weeks after someone in London mentioned the death, the Marquis tells Beth his wife has been dead for eight weeks. So how did the news arrive in London so fast?

As I say; tiny.

I still loved the book. I recommend it, and I'll be looking forward to seeing more from Amy Rose Bennett.
Profile Image for Evelyn.
125 reviews24 followers
December 11, 2015
Oh WOW! This book is truly amazing. It had a perfect blend between love, betrayal, secret lover, devilishly handsome man and lady-in-disguise.

Lady Beauchamp ran away from her fear of being infected by syphilis from her husband. She decided to go immediately and disguised herself as Mrs. Beth Elliot, the widow of Liutenant Elliot to work as governess in Eilean Tor Castle. What she didn't expect was that there was no longer a child in that castle, but instead the enigmatic father who wanted her service. Marquess of Rothsburgh, James Huntly, wanted Mrs. Elliot the moment he held her when she fell. She was truly beautiful with her angelic feature and blond hairs. He seduced her until she agreed to be his mistress. Soon, their hearts were thrown in a mix and everything started to go wrong. Her past started to catch up to her. Will their love survive from the secret and betrayal?

I love this story so much. It was a bit controversial and difficult in Beth's case. She wanted to stay a decent woman, but with James's roguish smile, rakish grin and smoldering eyes, how could she refused the offer to be his mistress? Rothsburgh decided that the only way to make Beth stay was by offering her a decent job in her house as a housekeeper, but when his lust ruled over, he made an offer for more.

"My Beth. My love. My life's blood."

The words in the story were really intense and sometimes I can hear my heart pound while reading it. Some made you blush, swoon and soon you will be in love with the hero. The marquess was really passionate and he valued Beth's happiness more than anything. He was willing to open his heart once more. He was arrogant at first but soon he was nothing but kind to her. He bare his mind, body, heart and soul to her.
He exceeded the expectation. He had it all: brooding, loving, passionate and caring.

This story may have some actions that I disagree about, but these were the one that brought the story alive.

The setting of the story was really perfect. A place outside Scotland and it made the mood became mysterious and fierce. The description of the castle was really vivid that I could imagine walking around it.

A must read!!!

I received a complimentary copy in exchange of an honest review.
Profile Image for Mary Yarde.
Author 6 books146 followers
June 20, 2016
Lady Elizabeth Beauchamp has it all. A fabulous title, respect, wealth, and a husband who is handsome. Her life should be perfect.

Elizabeth was swept away by Hugh Beauchamp, and she married for love, but very soon she realised that her husband wasn’t who she thought he was. He is an adulterer and has many mistresses. He belittles her at every opportunity and their marriage is far from happy.

But one day Elizabeth receives a letter from one of Hugh's mistresses. This anonymous woman informs Elizabeth that Hugh has contracted the pox.

Determined to escape a loveless marriage and fearing for her health, Elizabeth flees her home, takes a new name, invents a new story about her life and heads to the wilds of Scotland in the hope that she will find work as a governess in the home of the recently widowed, Lord Rothsburgh. If only she had known what would happen next!

What a rollercoaster of an adventure this book takes you on! I took to Elizabeth straight away. She had the most wonderful heart and an enormous capacity to love. Her frantic flee to Scotland was very believable, and I came to care about what happened to her.

Lord James Rothsburg had been deeply affected by his wife’s death, but not in the way that you would think. Like, Elizabeth, he had married for love, but his wife was not the true type. James is a very passionate and caring man, who was just the kind of person suitable for our brave heroine.

This book isn’t your typical romance – there is a great deal of adultery between the pages and if this is something that you object to then maybe this isn’t the book for you. However, saying that, I thought the plot was fantastic. It wasn’t predictable in any way. I didn’t know where the story was going and for a historical romance that is unusual. It certainly made a very welcomed change.

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book. I read it in one sitting. It held my interest throughout and it is on my repeat-to-read list.

I Highly Recommend.

Profile Image for Farrah.
1,249 reviews206 followers
December 1, 2014
A sweetly emotional, truly lovely historical romance, Lady Beauchamp's Proposal was a wonderful read that I really liked.

Elizabeth was a great character. She was put in a difficult situation but found a way to escape it. She was an honorable person at heart and that made her struggle to stay true to her heart or her marriage vows intriguing. I thought she was a lovely character.

James was an absolute sweetheart. He was kind, loyal, and just overall adorable. I wish we had been able to see more of him as a father because, from what we did see, he was great with his daughter. It just would have been nice to see more of that. But, I still liked him.

The romance was delightful. Elizabeth and James were so sweet together. They obviously loved each other and no obstacle could lessen their feelings. And they definitely had enough chemistry to turn the heat up. I thought they were a lovely couple.

The plot was steadily paced and kept me engaged all the way through. The emotions were well portrayed and allowed me to really feel for the characters. I really liked the story and the ending was perfect.

Lady Beauchamp's Proposal was a delightfully sweet and emotional historical romance that I really liked. Romance lovers, this is a book you'll want to check out.

*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Susana Ellis.
Author 34 books97 followers
December 2, 2014
…sizzling second chance love story with a touch of the Gothic

Desperate to escape her pox-ridden husband, Elizabeth seeks a position as governess as far away from London as she can. Lord Rothsburgh's island fortress off the Scottish coast is a perfect retreat…except for the fact that there is no longer a need for a governess.

The position Lord Rothsburgh has in mind for the lovely "widow" has nothing to do with teaching children. But she's still in mourning for her soldier husband and after his disastrous first marriage, he's not looking for anything long-term. He should just send her away and forget her. But he can't quite manage to do that. And she has nowhere else to go, so…

Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp, is just the sort of strong, independent heroine I've always loved to read about. As a tortured hero with a deep-seated yearning for love, James, Lord Rothsburgh is remarkable.

In Lady Beauchamp's Proposal, Ms. Bennett has created a compelling erotic love story in an authentic Regency setting. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Joy D. Fanning.
148 reviews72 followers
December 7, 2014
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review*

I enjoyed this novel greatly. The historical aspect of this novel was great! You could really feel for Elizabeth and wanted her to find happiness. I'm not used to reading adult romance in a historical setting but this book was so good in how it was written I will be willing and eager to try others like it in the future.

The plot is a great concept, and reminds me a bit of Jane Eyre. There were some parts where I wondered why Elizabeth made the decision she did, but when I put myself in her shoes I probably would have done the same thing.

Not only is this story relatable it's also believable and makes for a fun fast paced read. If you enjoy historical adult romance than this book needs to be added to your reading list!

9 reviews
August 15, 2014
If you are looking for a Regency romance, steamy love scenes, with a Gothic undertone, this book is for you. I fell in love with the hero, James and the heroine, Elizabeth aka Beth. The book draws you in right from the first page. Elizabeth, The Countess of Beauchamp, is on the run from her husband Hugh, The Earl Of Beauchamp. She has found out that her husband, Hugh, has syphilis and he now wants Elizabeth to have his heir. Elizabeth knows that she has to escape so she runs to Scotland and masquerades as Mrs Beth Eliott a widowed governess for The Widower, The Marquess of Rothsburgh aka James. The story really takes off when Beth and James meet.

I posted this review on Amazon
Profile Image for Amy ~ Love At 1st Read.
527 reviews30 followers
February 8, 2016
Elizabeth, Lady Beauchamp, needs to disappear. Her estranged, syphilis inflicted husband has decided he needs an heir. Assuming the name of Beth, Lady B. flees to Scotland to obtain a governess position. The handsome, widowed Marquess of Rothsburg, James, no longer needs a governess but proposes a different position. Can Beth become James' mistress and keep her heart in tact knowing she can never truly be his?
This was my first book by this author. What a delight! A true Regency romance with a touch of Victoria Holt! Intriguing twists and turns, romance, sexy sensual love scenes, kept me reading well into the morning. I will definitely be reading more from this author!
Profile Image for Helen.
2,313 reviews12 followers
February 13, 2015
I really enjoyed this story it is moving and emotional as the hero James Huntley Marquess of Rothsburgh and the heroine Lady Elizabeth Beauchamp become involved in a very sensual affair when Beth arrives on his doorstep in the wilds of Scotland to apply for a governess position there are many twists and turns in this story and it will keep you turning the pages as they have a very hot and steamy journey to a HEA.
Profile Image for Christine Woinich.
2,229 reviews16 followers
February 28, 2016
I enjoyed this story. Elizabeth had the strength to run from her cheating husband. She found herself on the doorstep of James, Lord Rothsburgh. Both are wary of the other but their hearts and souls win out. There is a lot of grittiness to this story but their struggle to realize how strong their love is kept me interested. I recommend this book.

I had a chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tamara Martin.
Author 8 books9 followers
July 26, 2015
Oh my!

I couldn't put it down, I forgot to eat as I devoured every page. What a fun, brilliantly written, sexy escape that I didn't want to end. Amy Rose Bennett is yet to disappoint, her work is just fabulous!
Profile Image for Jenni.
175 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2023
Lady Beauchamp's Proposal is book 1 in the Scandalous Regency Widows series and this story most definitely fits the title of the series. I have enjoyed several books by Amy Rose Bennett but this one is now my current favorite.

Elizabeth Harcourt, Lady Beauchamp is the dutiful wife of a merciless rake, Hugh, Earl of Beauchamp. A month after their wedding, Hugh throws all his marriage vows to the wind and trolls about the clubs and gaming hells with his cronies, whoring and drinking without a care. But one night out of the blue, three years into their marriage, Hugh enters Elizabeth's bed chamber with the goal of begetting an heir.

When Elizabeth receives an anonymous letter written by one of Hugh's mistresses warning her that he is infected with syphilis, she makes plans to flee the household. With Hugh in her chamber requesting his husbandly rights, she knows she must escape now before he infects her.

Elizabeth manages to flee and journeys to Scotland with the hope of becoming a governess to Lord Rothsburgh's young daughter under the guise of Mrs. Beth Eliott, a widow from London. But when she arrives at Eilean Tor, Elizabeth is met with a reclusive master, his two dogs (I loved Rosencrantz), a skeleton staff, and no daughter in sight.

James Huntly, sixth Earl of Rothsburgh is intrigued by this young widow who has braved a treacherous journey to get to his secluded castle... the same home that no longer needs a governess, as he sent his daughter to live with his sister, and he just lost his wife a few weeks ago. Eager for any excuse to keep Beth at Eilean Tor, James offers her a position of housekeeper, when what he really wants is to keep her as his mistress. Will Beth stay on in James's household or will she return home to her husband?

I really enjoyed this story and this was a page turner for me. It has a bit of a gothic feel to it, or perhaps more noir. I could almost picture this as an old black and white movie, with Du Maurier vibes. While there is no mystery, per se, the tone is darker than typical Regency reads... light and fluffy, this is not. You really feel for Elizabeth and her plight while watching her battle with her morals and thoughts of breaking her marriage vows. She's really just trying to find a safe place to hide so Hugh can't find her to drag her back home and inflict his illness on her. Elizabeth's fabricated story of her past passes muster until James and Beth begin to get close and feelings get involved. Beth is torn between her growing affection for James while remembering Hugh still exists in the background. And since secrets have a habit of coming to the surface, a proposal from James is about to bring it all out. But James has secrets too, one in particular that relates to Hugh and Elizabeth that is an amazing plot twist!

This story is very steamy. When you take a woman in a loveless marriage and put her with a man who lived through an equally loveless and estranged marriage, these two people essentially burn for each other's touch. They have a great chemistry and I really loved Elizabeth's strength and James's true desire to take care of her. Their attraction is real and their desire for each other is genuine and together they are smokin'! There are quite a few sensual scenes in this book, but they flowed with the story pretty well and as their intimacy grows you see their hearts heal and open for each other.

This plot is morally in the grey area, so be warned that technically Beth does cheat on her husband. However given her situation, the threat of syphilis, and the flagrant disregard Hugh has had for Beth and their marriage vows, I didn't blame Beth one bit. And neither does James. Beth did not set out to be unfaithful when she left Hugh. She just wanted to find honest work somewhere far away where she couldn't be found and infected. But what James and Beth share is a special bond that comes alive physically and emotionally, and you can't help but root for their happiness.

All good things must come to an end, right? When Hugh finally locates Elizabeth, another interesting plot twist occurs that I really did not expect. I won't spoil it. :)

Although this story gets a bit angsty, gritty, and heart-wrenching, I liked that James quickly realizes why Beth lied to him. He sees that she was only trying to protect herself, and understands that she had not set out specifically to deceive him. James immediately goes after her to bring her back into his loving arms. This scenario could have easily been dragged out for several chapters but it wasn't which was perfect and meant that the story could continue to move forward without droning on and on like other stories often do. Honestly I don't recall any lulls or "slow parts" in this book. It just keep moving and progressing, which is what I prefer.

Steam level for me on this is 4 out of 5. Everything steamy was tastefully written, but the use of f*** was used 12 times in this story (Rothsburgh never used that word with Beth). I really loved this book and it's unique story line. While some elements are predictable in the big scheme of things, there were several twists to keep things interesting and surprise the reader. This story just happened to check all my boxes. I also really enjoyed the epilogue. 5 stars!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cathleen Ross.
Author 46 books179 followers
April 21, 2020
What I loved about this novel is how well Amy Rose Bennett plots. It had interesting twists and turns, and while I knew how it would end as it's a romance, I was horrified as poor Lady Beauchamp was chased around by her horrid syphilitic husband. Just love a heroine in peril novel and Bennett delivers in spades.
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