Courtesy of samanthajames.comSince she was cruelly left at the altar at the age of twenty-two, Lady Julianna Sterling has resolved to have nothing to do with men. So she is shocked to discover she has unwelcome feelings for the very worst of the breed - a dangerous, unbearably handsome highwayman who has set upon her coach in the countryside and taken her captive. Worse still, her righteous ire turns quickly to disappointment when the irresistible outlaw sets her free.
Viscount Dane Graville knows he should not have revealed his face to the enchanting Lady Julianna - for he has compromised the secret mission he has undertaken for the Crown in the guise of the notorious Magpie. Now their paths are crossing once more, and Dane aches to taste again the sweetness of her kiss. But he must resist what his heart demands, for their passion can only lead to perils beyond imagining.
This is the third book in the Sterling family trilogy. Usually I love the first book in a trilogy, and am disappointed by the others. I loved all of these books, but this one captured my heart.
Julianna, left at the altar, has resigned herself to living her life alone. On her way to look at property to purchase, she becomes an unwitting victim of the "Magpie", the latest highwayman to terrorize the roads of England. She's injured in the attack, and he takes her to his hideaway to recover.
As they circle around one another and learn about each other, Julianna sees her chance to escape and shoots the Magpie. However, she just can't leave him and returns to nurse him back to health. Of course, they fall in love, and once she returns to society and discovers who the Magpie really is, Dane must reveal his true mission to her.
What I loved so much about this book was the sense of family and true love and caring that envelops the entire Stirling set of siblings. They've suffered, yet have each found love, and they all love and care for each other tremendously, while supporting each other on their journeys toward self-discovery and self-acceptance. I also really loved the interactions between Julianna and Dane. I loved that he was willing to give up everything for her - his life's work, his integrity... everything. Their time together in the cabin was wonderful. Oh! I forgot to mention this one to JenB as a cabin romance! (But Jen, if you aren't into the "Home Office" spy thing, maybe you shouldn't go there, although it is secondary to the storyline. You're just getting into the historical thing, and I'd hate to lose my status as your favorite person, LOL!).
Julianna and her brothers (great heroes in their own right) have a family scandal/secret in their history which is finally brought to a conclusion in this book. It's deeply moving, especially as it relates to the middle brother, Justin. It also brings in the whole "Home Office" spy aspect, so if that's not your thing, be forewarned. However, I wouldn't say that this book revolves around it at all.
The books in this trilogy in order:
A Perfect Bride
A Perfect Groom
A Perfect Hero