Kiss of Lies is the first book in Bronwen Evans’ series Disgraced Lords. In this book, you will completely understand where the series title comes from. Ms. Evan transports us from England to Canada and back again with a short stop in Jamaica. She blends the historical events of these countries into a wonderful story about the power of love and the things we will do to protect those we love.
Christian Trent suffered severe burns in France while fighting Napoleon. He returned to England to find that women turn from his new countenance in horror and that he has to pay women for their company. The burns are not the only hardship that Christian has suffered in his life. His father was given to brutal rages and was the cause of his mother’s death. Christian hopes that he will never be like his father and works hard to maintain control. So he is shocked when he is accused of raping a duke’s daughter. Before he can defend himself and learn the truth, he is forced onto a ship and sent to Canada by his accuser’s brother and father.
Sarah Cooper has her own tragic past to overcome. She is thrilled when she learns that Christian needs a governess for his ward, Lily. She is looking for a way out of Canada and fleeing from the secrets in her past. Sarah has known her own hardships and is slowly recovering from a brutal marriage. She wants to put it all behind her by taking a position that will keep her out of the limelight and in another country. Sarah knows Christian from long ago and trusts him.
Christian doesn’t recognize Sarah and he doesn’t know that they ever saw each other, but he does know that he is instantly attracted to her and wants to get to know her better. Sarah also feels drawn toward Christian and hopes that her girlish infatuation is not returning. She wants to take care of Lily and live quietly.
What follows is the story of two people who have been brutalized and are keeping secrets. Both Christian and Sarah have parts of their past that they are not willing to talk about. They fear how the other will react. Christian can’t believe that Sarah can overlook his scars and doesn’t trust that her feelings are true. The passion between them sizzles off the pages.
I think the part I enjoyed most about this story was the tension as we waited to find out what would happen when all the secrets were revealed. How would Christian react when he knew what Sarah was really running from and who she really was? Who is trying to ruin Christian and how far will they go to destroy him?
Although we learn the answers to some of the questions in this book, some questions will carry on into the next book and probably throughout the series. I am interesting in seeing where these stories go and what the final outcome is. I think Bronwen Evans can take the stories in some interesting directions.