Review: A Kiss of Lies by Bronwen Evans

Tuesday, January 14

Title:  A Kiss of Lies*
Author:  Bronwen Evans
Series: The Disgraced Lords, #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Loveswept
Format: ebook
Date/Year: January 14, 2014
Reviewed by: ElaineReads 
*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

In Bronwen Evans’s Loveswept debut, a pair of damaged souls ignite each other’s deepest passions—even as they tempt fate by deceiving the world.

Desperate to escape her abusive past, Sarah Cooper disguises herself as a governess in the employ of Christian Trent, Earl of Markham, the man who, long ago, she fantasized about marrying. Despite the battle scars that mar his face, Sarah finds being near Christian rekindles her infatuation. A governess, however, has no business in the arms of an earl, and as she accompanies Christian on his voyage home, Sarah must resist her intense desires—or risk revealing her dangerous secrets.

One of the renowned Libertine Scholars, Christian Trent once enjoyed the company of any woman he chose. But that was before the horrors of Waterloo, his wrongful conviction of a hideous crime, and his forcible removal from England. Far from home and the resources he once had, Christian believes the life he knew—and any chance of happiness—is over . . . until his ward’s governess sparks his heart back to life, and makes him remember the man he used to be. Now Christian is determined to return to England, regain his honor, and win the heart of the woman he has come to love.

My Musings:

Bronwen Evans is a new author to me and I am sorry I have missed out on her excellent writing. The Regency period has always been a favorite of mine and she does an great job of placing her characters in the time. 

The story actually begins in Canada which is different from most of the books I have read of this period.  In actuality, most of the book takes place before they even reach England.  Christian and Sarah are both running from their pasts. 

In Sarah’s case, she is literally on the run. She has killed her husband (although, in self defense) and must remain in hiding to avoid being hanged. She ends up in Canada where she applies, under a false name, for the job of governess to Christian’s ward Lily.   Sarah knew of Christian from when she was a young girl and always daydreamed of marrying him.  She is a duke’s daughter, but because of her age had never formally been introduced to him. His offer of a job is a miracle because it protects her from society while allowing her to be near the man she has always loved.

Christian was severely burned during the Napoleonic War and hides away from most of his peers. He was accused of raping a young lady in England and her father and brother had him shanghaied and shipped to the new world. After many months, he is ready to go back and face his accuser.  Before the war, Christian could (and pretty much did) have any woman he wanted. He still desires a wife and family, but knows that most women will only accept him because of his wealth and title now that he is scarred.  Sarah is the exception, but she is only a governess.

So, of course, they fall in lust and love.

I enjoyed the struggles each of the characters faced in trusting one another.  They had both gone through such horrific experiences, it was understandable that they had difficulty believing in anyone.  Fortunately, they were both self aware enough to realize that if they were ever going to be happy they had to work through their fears.  The only difficulty I had with this book is some of the dialogue seemed overdone. For example,

“In York, when I entered your study that first day, I can’t explain my reaction to you. I was drawn to you in exactly the same way as I had been when I was a young girl. I inwardly cried when I saw your wounds, and wondered how anyone could mark something so beautiful. I knew in that moment we would be good for each other. I got the overwhelming impression that somehow we could heal each other.” (p. 167)

This emotional outpouring seemed to be the norm, and it became distracting after a while.  That, however, is my only criticism.  I look forward to the next book in the series, A Promise of More, which is due out in April. Simon promises to be a delightful Libertine Scholar.


Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level: 3

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Alexis N January 15, 2014 at 9:26 AM  

This book sounds great.. Looking forward to reading it.

Alexis N January 26, 2014 at 3:27 PM  

Ive read the prequel and loved it. It provided a good background inro understanding the characters. Looking forward to read this book.

Elaine March 13, 2014 at 8:17 PM  

Alexis, what is the title of the prequel?

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