Devon, the Earl of Malton, is a hero for his deeds at the Battle of Waterloo. But he suffers terrible nightmares, and drinks himself to sleep most nights. A habit he vows to break when he awakes one morning to find a woman sharing his bed, no memory of how she got there, and her angry brother at his door.
Cathleen is mortified when her wastrel brother and his greedy wife propose a blackmail scheme involving the earl, but as a penniless war widow she's at their mercy. She goes along with the plan and sneaks into Devon's bed one night, and ends up comforting him through a night terror.
Charmed by her beauty and kindness, Devon determines that rather than pay the blackmail, he will offer his hand in marriage to Cathleen. Although she is deeply attracted to the stoic earl, Cathleen cannot understand why Devon would want to marry her. What she doesn't know is that Devon owes her a debt that can never fully be repaid...
Devon wakes up to find himself in bed with a beautiful woman, but rather than enjoying a night of scandal, he has been the victim of a blackmail plot. Cathleen had no wish to be part of her brother's blackmail scheme, but she also had no way out. Now she finds that the man whose bed she shared may be her way out of a bad situation. When he offers to marry her rather than pay her brother, she is hardly going to refuse, but she has no idea why he would offer such an arrangement. He is keeping a secret, but Cathleen isn't telling Devon everything either...
So I might be a bit (a lot) in love with Devon. He's an actually caring hero. I know so many of ya'll love the antagonistic heroes and the storylines filled with arguments with the heroine, but give me a hero who is broken but still genuinely cares and I'm all: *swoon* I also loved that quite quickly into their relationship, he announces that he wants her help in running the estate - radical! His secret, though, is a big one - Cathleen's husband died saving his life.
The beginning of the build up of Devon and Cathleen's romance comes from her comforting him over his war trauma, so she is just as caring as he is. Her secret is somewhat less sinister, as she believes herself to be infertile and believes he would not have married her if he'd known. She's quite an interesting heroine. Prior to marrying Devon, she wanted to start a shop to sell medicinal treatments as a way to get by. She has been through a lot in her own way and craves the safety Devon is only too willing to give.
It's their mutual deception, though, that creates a hiccup in what might have been a simple romance. Not only are they both keeping secrets, but the blackmail taint to the beginning of the relationship has also left Devon struggling to trust Cathleen.
We've also got a little intrigue plot, as Cathleen's brother and his wife do not let her out of their grasp so easily and they are just waiting to destroy her happiness.
I really enjoyed Hero's Redemption. It's definitely short, and a little part of me would have liked the characters to have been fleshed out a little more (I think there would have been room for this, given how much happened in the plot). However, sometimes all I want is a short historical romance hit and it can be difficult to find good historical romance novellas. Read in under two hours, Hero's Redemption had everything I could want - a hero and heroine with troubled pasts, love with care and respect, but with enough trauma and deception to cause conflict, and a nice little intrigue plot. Yes, I will be reading more Georgie Lee!
Hero's Redemption by Georgie Lee is a historical romance released by Carina Press on July 29, 2013 and available from Amazon.
I found this book on my library's e-catalogue! #HugYourLibrarian
PS. Do you have any historical romance novella recommendations?