Set during the late Victorian period, Beard's newest (after Very Truly Yours) is a descriptive love story that emphasizes the tensions between the social classes. Olivia Thorpe, the newly widowed duchess of Brandhurst, and Will Barnes, a garden designer and frustrated portrait painter, share a heated, spontaneous night together following the death of Olivia's husband, but it isn't until a year later that they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. Unbeknownst to many, the duke's death was not due to natural causes. He was murdered, and Olivia's power-hungry nephew intends to drag the scandal out into the open and accuse her of the deed. After all, the duke was stabbed with her letter opener, and she had plenty of motive her husband was abusive. Will, however, is determined to find the killer and salvage Olivia's reputation, even if it means giving up their love. A subplot focusing on the plight of female factory workers is woven seamlessly into the plot, and a cast of full-bodied secondary characters augment the narrative. The resulting book is a multifaceted read that paints an accurate portrait of a bygone era while tugging on the reader's heartstrings.
Duchess Olivia Thorpe has many sudden plans she is forced to make. Her husband of over twenty years has died and she must deal with the plans of his burial. But unfortunately Olivia can't concentrate on the plans at hand. All she can think about is how she is finally free of her husband once and for all and the circumstances surrounding his sudden death. Olivia was with Quinton Thorpe when he was killed and only she knows it was murder. Dealing with so many conflicting emotions is extremely hard for Olivia. So when she meets Will, aspiring artist and son of a gardener, one night while walking through a sleepless night, Olivia comes alive. Will opens Olivia up to passion she has long been denied. But there are so many obstacles in the way, and the two part company after a wonderful, sensuous night together
After more than twenty years, Olivia Duchhess of Brandhurst is finally free-Free from shackles of a loveless marriage to a cruel domineering husband.And in one reckless night of passion she experiences that freedom in the arms of another.