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Lively St. Lemeston Book 2
Never steal a heart unless you can afford to lose your own.
Through sheer force of will, Ash Cohen raised himself and his younger
brother from the London slums to become the best of confidence men.
He’s heartbroken to learn Rafe wants out of the life, but determined to
grant his brother his wish.
It seems simple: find a lonely, wealthy woman. If he can get her to
fall in love with Rafe, his brother will be set. There’s just one
problem—Ash can’t take his eyes off her.
Heiress Lydia Reeve is immediately drawn to the kind, unassuming
stranger who asks to tour her family’s portrait gallery. And if she
married, she could use the money from her dowry for her philanthropic
schemes. The attraction seems mutual and oh so serendipitous—until she
realizes Ash is determined to matchmake for his younger brother.
When Lydia’s passionate kiss puts Rafe’s future at risk, Ash is
forced to reveal a terrible family secret. Rafe disappears, and Lydia
asks Ash to marry her instead. Leaving Ash to wonder—did he choose the
perfect woman for his brother, or for himself?
What a fucking fantastic book!
Ash is a perfect hero with a horrific background, a con he's running and a heart as big as an ocean. He thinks little of himself, mostly because of the secrets he carries, but he really is stalwart in many ways.
Lydia is a good heroine. She's mired in grief since her father died: she's a politician without politics, a hostess without a social life, an heiress without money. Her brother who she's hanging all her hopes on is secretly gay and quite miserable.And very, very good at running away.
So when Ash and Lydia spin into each other's orbits... it's beautiful.Ash wants Lydia for his brother, Lydia wants Ash and truly, Ash really does want Lydia for himself.
The best part of the book is that Ash and Lydia are both con men in their own rights and much of the cons they use involve honesty. So Ash slowly tells Lydia every truth about himself, Lydia slowly faces the truths of her own life and ambitions and a beautiful love story unfolds.
I liked everything about this book. There was such a huge vulnerability to Ash where he was a walking, gaping wound but still strong and so needing someone like Lydia to love him as she did. And Lydia was so strong and aware but capable of seeing her own faults and slights and becoming a better person.
One of the best books I've read this year. I can't recommend it highly enough.