The first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband’s driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mourned the loss of her love.
The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different—bolder, harder, and convinced that she’d betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust—to the love they once shared and would have to find again?
|Sabrina Jeffries writing as Deborah Martin
|Welsh Series (Book 1)
|Second Chance Romance
|Point of View:
|Third Person, Past Tense
|28th June, 2016 (Originally 1st September, 1995)
A romantic delight
One of the joys (of many) of this book is the sheer depth of the characters. It’s not unusual for the main characters, and even some of the secondary characters, to be multi-layered and have a realism that you can identify with. What’s more unusual is when the ‘baddies’ have that same layering. Darcy is our antagonist in this tale but he’s also got redeeming qualities, shows true feelings and made the reasons for his actions understandable if not above reproach. Sure he was selfish but he was written so well that I did feel pity for him at times.
Julianne and Rhys themselves were such well-rounded characters, too, and painfully perfect for each other, even if, at times, neither could see it (or would admit to it). I can definitely understand the conflict within the story – the betrayals done and those thought to be done. It really was a tangled weave and fascinating to see how the characters reacted and made the way to the perfect ending.
The Welsh setting was also done really well and while it was a key component to the story, it never overshadowed and remained interesting throughout. It would be interesting to hear what any Welsh readers thought, though.
Deborah Martin books tend to be a little darker and less humorous than Sabrina Jeffries’ later works. Having said that, I didn’t feel this one as dark and atmospheric as others and as it focussed primarily on the relationship between characters rather than the backdrop of political machinations, it retained a nice, light, readable feel.
I absolutely devoured this book and found myself wanting to tell people about the outcome when I was finished. It’s got it all – exemplary writing, superb plotting and a love story that will make any romance lover’s heart sing. Definitely recommended. 5 stars.
Sabrina Jeffries is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels and works of short fiction (some written under the pseudonyms Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas).
At home in front of a crowd, Jeffries is a sought-after speaker, as evidenced by her 2010 gig as emcee for the National Romance Writers of America’s 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony.
Whatever time not spent speaking to organizations around the country or writing in a coffee-fueled haze is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions—jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and music.
With over 9 million books in print in more than 20 languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics (she has a Ph.D. in English literature) for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction, and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world.
She always dreams big.