Thorncliff Manor is the perfect setting for a masquerade ball . . . where the heart’s secret desires are about to be uncovered in this scintillating Regency romance from Sophie Barnes
Richard Heartly has exiled himself from society since the war, plotting his revenge for a terrible betrayal. A masked ball at Thorncliff Manor is intended to be a brief diversion. Instead, he encounters a fascinating young woman as entranced by the music as he is. He can’t reveal his identity to Lady Mary. But her siren song keeps drawing him back, and their clandestine meetings could be hazardous to his plan—and to her virtue . . .
Avoiding an unwanted marriage was easy when Lady Mary was ignored by the ton. Thanks to her dazzling appearance at the masquerade, she’s a wallflower no longer. Eligible suitors abound, yet the only man she wants is the brooding, seductive companion who keeps his face hidden. A man who tempts her to disclose her own shocking secret, one that could divide them forever . . .
Since I didn't read the previous books in this series I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved how the story starts off with a Masquerade Ball and provided in great detail the scenery. I really felt as if I was there alongside Richard and Lady Mary which was a plus for me.
Richard has been back from war and hidden away for five years. He is consumed with revenge and carries scars that he doesn't want anyone to see. The ball is the perfect way for him to step back into society without anyone knowing it's actually him including members of his family. Richard sees a young woman who is dressed simpler then the rest with her lovely locks down and is intrigued by her but getting to know her will be impossible for he doesn't believe anyone can look past his scars.
Mary has no desire to get married and wants to live her life on her own terms. She is kind, generous and has some secrets of her own she doesn't want to share but after meeting "Signor Antonio" she feels a deep a connection to him and enjoys his company. With stolen moments she gets to know him better and secrets begin to reveal themselves but one of Mary's suitors will stop at nothing to claim or destroy her reputation.
Mary and Richard were a fairy tale dream couple who started out as strangers and made their way to friends to quickly falling for one another. In every interaction I felt their chemistry and loyalty to one another. Even when the times got a little tough I loved the devotion they both had and just knew this was a couple who would make it in the long run.
From what it looks like the mysteries of Thorncliff Manor will be coming to the surface in the next story and for once I can't wait to read a historical romance. Since reading His Scandalous Kiss I am invested in finding out the conclusion but in order to do that I need to go back to the very beginning. I am excited to say Barnes has a new fan and I'm looking forward to reading her future books.
If you're looking for a beautiful love story that has mystery, secrets and a HEA that will win your heart, His Scandalous Kiss is a recommended read.