Loving A Lost Lord (Lost Lords #6)
Mary Jo Putney
Kensington Publishing Corp
Read from my local library
After a life spent following her gambling father on the road, filled with uncertainty, Mariah Clarke finally has a home of her own. Her father won it in a card game but the origins don’t matter. She’ll at last have somewhere to truly call her own and she cannot wait to get the house in order and put it to rights. As soon as her father installs her in the residence, he leaves again, saying that when he returns he’ll have exciting news for her. Before that can happen though, Mariah gets some terrible news.
Adam is the Duke of Ashton but when he washes up on the beach near Mariah’s new home, he remembers nothing of his ducal rank, nothing of the shipwreck that put him into the water in the first place and not even his own name. Mariah finds him and brings him up to the house and Adam doesn’t argue when this lovely blonde woman tells him that she’s his wife. Staying with Mariah brings about happiness, so much so that Adam begins not to want to return to his previous life, even if he can manage to discover just who he is.
I read the sixth book in this series recently without realising it was a series until it was a little too late. It didn’t give much in the way of background so I decided to go back and read from the beginning and I’m so glad I did! The first book gives a great introduction to the private academy that took in the “lost lords” and shaped their adolescent years as well as the formidable but generous woman behind it. I understand the dynamic between the men quite a bit better now and I might have to go and re-read the scene in the sixth book where Kirkland introduces his wife to his friends and their wives, just to get that interaction between the women again. This is why I hate reading series books out of order so much, but once I’d started the sixth, I couldn’t put it aside. I have the first five out from my local library so I was looking forward to going back and meeting all of the “lost lords” and filling in the gaps. Some of their stories sounded really exciting, others a little less so.
Mariah and Adam’s story also plays into one of my favourite tropes, which is amnesia! Adam was in a shipwreck (his friends believe him to be dead but are investigating to make sure) and Mariah, through a little bit of divine intervention, saves him when he washes up on her beach. Mariah has been under some pressure from the man her father won the estate from in a card game, who is attempting to convince Mariah to marry him. She knows that he has evil ulterior motives and that also he’s not a very good person but she doesn’t know how long she can continue to be strong and keep refusing him. On the spur of the moment she makes up a husband that is arriving soon and Adam’s appearance becomes quite timely as he then becomes a very convenient husband and a way to free herself from the unwanted attentions.
Both Adam and Mariah are instantly attracted to the other but I liked the fact that Mariah at least thought about the possibility of Adam already being attached to someone, or married, possibly even with children. It was something that none of them knew about but Mariah was never quite sure that Adam was free to love her – until his friends arrived with news of who he really was. Immediately Mariah realises that as a Duke, he’s probably out of her reach but she agrees to journey to London with him to both provide something familiar for him as he returns to his old life and also so she can find out the truth about what has really happened to her father.
I liked Adam a lot as a character – he’s half Indian, which in this time would be enough to cause varied reactions among London’s elite and privileged, even though he’s a Duke and resides in the largest private home in the city. There are people that would never dare cut him to his face but would have no qualms about belittling his heritage behind his back. Adam lived in India as a child until he inherited his title and was dragged, basically kicking and screaming, back to England. When he returns to his old life and his memories begin to resurface, it becomes clear that the shipwreck was no accident and that someone is still trying to kill him, possibly because of his heritage. Adam realises then that he’s always sought to hide that part of himself, almost as if he was ashamed of it and he decides to open up to those close to him about the parts of his Indian heritage that are really important to him.
The ending was a bit dramatic and a little abrupt as well. I think I’d have liked it if the book went a little longer but instead it seemed a bit cut off. Judging from what I’ve read already, I think this series is full of people who are not what they seem and are better connected than they appear and there’ll be lots of people who are assumed dead but aren’t really, stuff like that. They’re easy, fun reads though and I’m really looking forward to the next one.
Book #181 of 2014