Pride and Passion
by Charlotte FeatherstonePublisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Books Publish Date: November 29, 2011 Genre: Historical Romance Series: The Brethren Guardians book 2 Source: E-ARC provided by NetGalley My Rating: Blurb from Goodreads: They each have their secrets but what they share is passion. Lucy Ashton had long ago given up her quest for true love. In the rarified society of Victorian England, Lucy plays the game – flirting, dancing and dabbling in the newly fashionable spiritualism. Even marrying when – and who – she’s supposed to. If the stuffy Duke of Sussex cannot spark the passion she craves, he can as least give her a family, a home of her own, and a place to belong. When her polite marriage reveals a caring and sensual man, Lucy begins to wonder if she can indeed have it all. But Lord Sussex is not the man the London ton has come to admire. And Lucy has some ghosts of her own, as well. Thus, when a blackmail scheme turns to threats of danger, the newfound peace of the Sussex marriage is cast upon the rocks. Passion has a price, Lucy learns. And not all ghosts stay buried.
Pride and Passion is book 2 in Charlotte Featherstone’s Brethren Guardian’s series. In book 1, a villain was introduced who wants to steal the relics guarded by 3 templar knights in order to gain power. While the identity of the villain is still unknown in Pride and Passion, one of the enemy’s is identified. The identity of the accomplice is none other than Lucy’s former lover, Thomas. Lucy vows to protect her lover from the dreary Duke of Sussex, one of the Brethren Guardians, and her current suitor. Lucy’s parents were cold and uncaring, and Lucy will do anything to avoid a passionless marriage to the Duke. Lucy mistakenly believes that Thomas is a good man, and that the Duke is passionless. Adrian, the Duke, is anything but passionless under his exterior Duke persona, but he can’t get Lucy to look past his title. Adrian knows that Lucy is in danger and he must find a way past her defenses to keep her safe, and to prove that he is not cold-hearted as she believes.
I am definitely a fan of the Brethren Guardians series, there is templar mythology, romance, and a plethora of juicy secrets. Charlotte Featherstone is an excellent author, the pacing of this book keeps the reader’s attention, the characters are varied and intriguing, and the storyline is exciting and new with templar artifacts and secret societies in historical England. I have to admit, I am not Lucy’s biggest fan. I found Lucy to be very selfish and she was very unfair to Adrian, the Duke of Sussex, for the longest time. She never thought about anyone but herself, and it grated. On the other hand, I love Adrian, he is an excellent hero, and he has his own secrets. His secrets are endearing and once he revealed the truth to Lucy, it solidified his position as a favored hero for me.
Pride and Passion is quite a different feel from Seduction and Scandal, book 1. In Seduction and Scandal, Lucy was very into the occult, and death was a theme of the book. In Pride and Passion, the occult is hardly mentioned. The focus is on finding the identity of Orpheus (the villain who wants the artifacts), and on finding Thomas, Lucy’s former lover and proving his involvement in murder and bringing down the Brethren Guardians. There is plenty of passion and attraction in Pride and Passion. Lucy and Adrian both have to change and open up in order to be together. Of course, just when things start looking up for the pair, more drama happens, and the Brethren Guardians are called to action. This sets up the storyline for book 3, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Historical Romance readers, I have enjoyed both books in this series. I did not like Pride and Passion quite as much as book 1, Seduction and Scandal, mainly because I do not like Lucy quite as much as I like Isabella. Nevertheless, I highly recommend reading this series. You can find my 5 star review for book 1, Seduction and Scandal, HERE.