Tuesday, January 12, 2016

To Trust a Rogue (The Heart of a Duke Book 8) by Christi Caldwell

Heartbroken by love lost, Marcus Gray, the Viscount Wessex becomes the consummate rogue. Even eight years after his loss, the betrayal of losing the woman he thought loved him evades his thoughts and determines his actions. His mother and sister would have him wed, and his sibling, Lizzie, has just the woman in mind for her handsome brother. Trying to escape the machinations of his well-meaning family, Marcus tries to find solace with friends, but watching them all fall in love and wed, leaves Marcus with a bitter taste for what he could have been.

Eleanor Carlyle fled London after having been put through an abominable act. Leaving the only man she could ever love behind, changes the once vibrant young woman into a ghost of her former self. The one thing that makes her life worth living is the daughter she gives birth to once leaving London society behind.  Eight years later, she  is summoned back to town by her beloved aunt, the Duchess of Devonshire, who has offered the widowed Mrs. Eleanor Collins a position as her companion. Eleanor's aunt is getting on in years and would have her niece and great niece return to life after merely existing in the countryside.

Terrified of facing her past, Eleanor reluctantly returns to the family fold of her aunt's townhouse. But attempting to stay hidden from the outside world. is a task Aunt Dorothea is determined to quell. When Eleanor and daughter Marcia head for a walk outside at dear aunty's insistence, Eleanor comes face to face with Marcus Gray and the past quickly catches up with her. Once Marcus see the woman that Eleanor has become, the mother, the mature lady, the feelings he thought he could extinguish for her come rushing back full force. Try as she might to hide away behind her made up persona, but secrets have a tendency to chip away at the soul and keeping them from the one person who knows that something is just not right is in vain.

When confronted with the evil who took her life away, Eleanor can either run again, or stay and fight an uphill battle. The catharsis of telling Marcus her unhappy tale is a double edged sword because once Marcus understands that he has treated Eleanor with some disdain since her return, she still believes herself unworthy of a happy ending. Once the chips have fallen, Marcus will do anything to win Eleanor's trust and heart, even if he thinks he deserves neither.

Trying not to give away the entire story is so hard when it comes to a tale such as this one, which teems with the full spectrum of emotions. Christi Caldwell makes this reader chew her nails to the nub and shout out about the injustices these characters are forced to reckon with. When she was an innocent eighteen year old with her whole life ahead of her, one defining moment robbed Eleanor of her happiness. Out of that horrible tragedy, comes something so beautiful, in the form of the precious Marcia, who gives Eleanor the will to overcome the cards that were dealt her. Marcus Gray has come full circle and what a ride it is for him. The discovery of what truly kept him away from Eleanor encourages him to be the man he needs to be for her. 

TO TRUST A ROGUE by the phenomenal,Christi Caldwell is sheer brilliance. Ms. Caldwell turns darkness into light with this second chance at love. Yes, it has profane darkness, but this darkness is  necessary if there is to be such bliss at the end. The darkness makes the journey to that bliss so much more important and meaningful. Having the chance to see Marcus confront that darkness makes his character all the more heroic and deserving of Eleanor. I love TO TRUST A ROGUE so much and give kudos to Christi Caldwell for tackling such a hard subject with such finesse. Bravo.


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