Thrown out of England for a crime he swears he did not commit, the disfigured by fire, Christian Trent, the Earl of Markham has spent a year in Canada biding his time to return to his homeland and vindicate himself. In the meantime, he has become the guardian to his friend's daughter, when her parents perish in an unfortunate accident. A member of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian has friends back in England fighting to clear him name so he can return home.
Lady Serena has been thrust into a disastrous marriage to the sadistic man her father basically sold her to to get out of debt in England. Once Lady Serena and her evil husband are in Virginia, her life drastically declines as she is treated no better than her husbands slaves. One horrific night changes her life forever when she attempts to save herself from her husband's twisted actions and runs from Virginia after striking back and leaving him for dead.
Lady Serena arrives in Canada as the widow Sarah Cooper who applies for the job of being Lord Markham's ward Lily's governess. From the first minute, Christian is shocked that his disfigurement has no effect on the beautiful woman. Most people cringe at the sight of his burnt flesh and flee from his presence, but no Mrs. Cooper. Unbeknownst to Christian, Sarah Cooper is quite familiar with him, for in her other life of Serena, she admired him from afar when he was the catch of the ton and secretly wished he could be hers. It was not to be, but Sarah sees his advertisement as a message from above that is meant to be.
While on the ship returning to England to take back all he has lost, Christian seduces the beautiful widow and unwittingly falls in love with Sarah, but Sarah in no certain terms wishes to ruin her reputation and that of her charge, so the deal with Christian is they have a love affair that ends the minute the ship docks in England. Sarah wants to continue to be Lily's governess, not the Earl of Markham's mistress, and she couldn't possibly be his wife because once her true identity is discovered and the fact that she is a murderess comes to light, she would undoubtedly hang for the crime and has no wish to tarnish the Earl and his ward's names.
Once back in England, danger lurks for both the Earl and the governess with horrible pasts becoming the present and parties involved need a miracle to save them from demise.
I had no idea what to expect from this book when I picked it up as I had never read anything by Bronwen Evans and I was so happy once I read A KISS OF LIES, which is an emotionally charged tale of acceptance and vindication. Miss Evans characters are strong and interesting and I completely felt a kinship to both Christian and Sarah/Serena. A KISS OF LIES by Bronwen Evans is exciting from beginning to end. Wounded hero, Chrisitan Trent truly believes he will be forever alone, and when he meets Sarah he constantly second guesses whether she is honest about his scars being of no consequence to her. Sarah/Serena on the other hand believes she will never be free of the horrors she endured while with her husband. Gut-wrenching and so well written, A KISS OF LIES is one of my favorite reads. I highly recommend Bronwen Evans A KISS OF LIES.