Beverley Kendall's story begins where most novels end: at the wedding of our hero and heroine, who have loved each other since they first set eyes on each other.
But our hero, Alex, gets jilted at the altar and our heroine, Charlotte leaves nothing but a letter to Alex with barely an explanation or apology and no trace or clue to her whereabouts.
It is five years later, and Charlotte is back in England and she must face the repercussions of her decision that fateful day. More is at stake now, because Charlotte not only has to fend for herself -- but also to defend her son, Nicholas.
And one of the most important people she must face is Alex. Except Alex does not want to have anything to do with Charlotte anymore -- it took him 5 long years to finally put the betrayal behind him and he's ready to move on.
But one look at Nicholas, and Alex knows that he must risk his heart once again -- for the sake of his son.
This is, perhaps, Kendall's most visceral work, laying her characters' hearts and souls bare -- writing about Alex's anguish and pain so vividly -- raw and angry. Alex has loved and wanted only Charlotte and was a wedding vow and a kiss away from fulfilling his lifelong dream -- only to have the dream stolen from him by Charlotte herself.
But Charlotte had very good reasons to do what she did -- and while she was a hapless victim of circumstance and had very few options all those years ago, but she has come back a different person -- one who is willing to stand up and fight for the ones she loves.
One of my favorite scenes in the novel is during Charlotte's first evening back -- and she dreams of Alex.
And then he was gone.
Her arms lay empty on the tangled whit bed sheets. Charlotte reached out again with an urgency that bordered on desperation, endeavoring to stop the panic from taking over ...
"Alex. Alex. Alex," she cried out in the dark.
- loc. 949
In An Heir of Deception, Beverley Kendall explores loss and yearning, family and a sense of belongingness, sacrifice and redemption --
Kendall's writing is emotional and evocative -- and her descriptions are amazing! My favorite line: "Silk tulle and Indian muslin crushed as they joyously embraced." - loc. 1535
This was one of my most anticipated (e-)book releases for 2012 -- and it exceeded my expectations.
An Heir of Deception is part of Kendall's Elusive Lords series.