Top positive review
The best of the series!
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 5, 2020
Benedict/Ben “Beast” Trewlove has always been the most mysterious of the Trewlove siblings, throughout the series we have had glimpses of him and heard things, but we never really got to know him. For me, questions began to pile up, why does he live in a brothel? Why do they call him Beast? What does he do? Well, the wait is over and we will finally learn the answers to all these questions and more!
Miss Althea Stanwick’s life has taken a drastic turn for the worse, she was Lady Althea Stanwick the only daughter of the Duke of Wolfford until he plotted to assassinate the Queen and was charged with treason and hanged for his crimes. His family was stripped of their titles, properties and society turned their backs on them. If this was not bad enough Althea’s betrothed the Earl of Chadbourne publicly shames her by turning his back on her, as does everyone else, the embarrassment is too much for her mother, who rapidly declines and passes away. With no options and no allies, the Stanwick siblings move to Whitechapel and Althea gets a job at Gillie’s pub. It is there that she meets Beast.
Beast knows she doesn’t belong in Whitechapel and is intrigued by her. He follows her when she leaves and sees her meet a man, assumes she is safe and goes home. Home for him is a brothel, he never planned to own a brothel and would dearly love to get rid of it, but his guilt from the past and his protective nature will not allow him to close the doors and leave the “girls” to the streets. He escapes to his study and tries to put Althea out of his mind and work on his newest murder mystery novel – his first book recently published and he is eager to write the next one. But tonight, the words won’t come and he begins to wonder if Althea could be the answer to his brothel dilemma – maybe he could hire her to teach the girls to be more refined and find jobs for them. He returns to Gillie’s and tries to offer her the position – she grossly misunderstands and refuses to even hear what he has to say.
Althea is shocked, she thinks he was asking her to be his mistress. That night her brother Griffith is late to walk her home and when he does show up, he is secretive. She knows her older brother Marcus has gone underground to try and find the other men who plotted with their and hopefully restore their family honor, she also knows that Griffith wants to go with him, but has been left to watch over her. It isn’t until she is attacked on her way home another night and saved be Beast that she begins to reconsider her options. She decides that she will become a courtesan and who better to teach her than a man who owns a brothel? She visits him and learns what he really wanted to hire her for – she agrees, but wants him to teach her how to become a seductress. They come to an agreement and Althea moves into the brothel – much to her brother’s dismay. She explains what she is doing and that by living there, Griffith is free to join Marcus and doesn’t have to worry about her.
Beast and Althea become close, she is delighted to learn that he is an author and is fascinated by his life and impressed with all he has accomplished. Slowly they fall in love and she knows that she will never be able to be a courtesan and tells Beast that she has fallen in love with him. He loves her too, he proposes and she accepts, but almost immediately their dream of HEA is shattered when the truth of Beast’s birth comes knocking on the door.
I just loved this book so much, as always, the writing is great, the book flows and holds the reader in thrall until the very last word. But this book felt even more poignant than the previous books, all of the siblings have had hurdles to clear before their happy endings, but Beast, whose heart is the biggest, seemed to have a mountain to conquer to win his love. This book was filled with emotion, steamy love scenes, cameos from the other Trewloves, a few laughs, shocking revelations, a bit of revenge, a hero with a huge heart, a lovely declaration scene and an absolutely wonderful epilogue make this book my favorite in the series. This is the last book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title. And while it is the last in this series, it gives us a peek at a new series featuring Althea’s brothers!! I loved this book and most enthusiastically recommend this title to fellow historical romance lovers!