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Nicholas: Lord of Secrets

von Grace Burrowes

Reihen: Haddonfields (1), Lonely Lords (2)

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After a wild youth, Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, has promised his ailing father he'll finally take a bride, though doing so will force Nick to make impossible choices and face old, painful wounds. Leah Lindsey is glad to find refuge from her own desperate situation in a marriage of convenience with the gallant viscount. But soon convenience is not enough and Lean can't understand why Nick remains so distant.… (mehr)
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Oh her dad is a piece of work. Leah Lindsey's father has told her that her short marriage wasn't real and that her husband's death at his hand in a duel was for her. He calls her a disgrace and wants her off his hands but he also wants her to go to the highest bidder and some of the bidders aren't very nice people. All her family are under the iron thumb of their father and he has damaged them in various ways.
When Nicholas Haddonfield meets her at a ball he reckons that she might be the perfect woman for his plans, a woman who might understand some of his stipulations for not wanting children and who might understand some of the skeletons in his closet. As he spends more time with her he realises how attracted to her he is and how he can help her to live a life that is better with him, but they both are very attracted and trying to deny it is damaging them both.
A knowledge of French Letters aka condoms and maybe why he didn't want to use them (associations with prostitution and failure rate) could have been useful at some stage, for both of them. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Nov 8, 2021 |
Good book. This is the story of Nicholas and Leah. Leah is the sister of Darius, from the first book in the series, which takes place at the same time as this one. Both Nicholas and Leah appear in that book, and some things alluded to there are explained here.

Nicholas is a big man with an even bigger heart. Like most men of his time, he had a pretty wild youth and has quite a reputation among a particular group of ladies. He's lately tired of that life and has spent more time with his ailing father, learning what he needs to know when he becomes the Earl of Bellefonte. The earl's greatest wish is to see Nicholas married. Nicholas knows he needs to marry, but there are reasons he doesn't want to have a typical marriage.

Leah is a woman with a past. A scandal years ago has put her firmly on the shelf. Her father, a nasty, vicious man, hates her and can't wait to marry her off. He has the perfect candidate - one of his cronies. Lord Hellerington is a randy old goat who has buried three wives. Leah is unwilling, but her father's threats against her brothers keep her in line. All she wants is to marry someone she can love and who will love her.

Nicholas and Leah met one evening when both tried to escape an uncomfortable Society function. Nicholas was pursued by two women determined to capture him, and Leah was avoiding her father's choice for her. The room was dark, and neither could see the other, making it easier for them to talk. Leah's story raises Nicholas's protective instincts, but without knowing who she is, there's no way for him to help her. Before they part ways, they share a kiss that neither one can forget.

When they meet again, and Nicholas learns who she is, he is determined to find a way to help her. He finds ways to spend time with her and quickly comes to realize that she may be the answer to his problem. Nicholas can marry Leah, satisfying his father's wishes, while at the same time protecting her from her father's plans. He feels guilty about offering her a platonic marriage, knowing that most women at least want children from their unions. However, Nicholas is adamant that he will father no children, with her or anyone else. Though she has reservations, Leah accepts his proposal.

I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Nicholas and Leah. There is a connection between them from the beginning that neither one can deny. I liked how easily they were able to talk to each other about anything, as long as they stayed away from Nicholas's reasons for staying out of Leah's bed. It doesn't take long for Leah to realize that she loves Nicholas. Unfortunately, getting him to reveal his secrets is an uphill battle, and one she isn't sure she can win.

Meanwhile, Nicholas's feelings for Leah grow stronger, as does his guilt. There were so many times I wanted to shake him and tell him to talk to her already. I ached for them both when they parted because it was so hard to be together under their current circumstances. I had to laugh at Nicholas because of the way he handled the separation.

The whole family knew that Nicholas and Leah were meant to be together, but getting through to Nicholas was much harder than anyone expected. I loved how his grandmother finally sat Nicholas down and got him to talk to her. Nicholas's shock when he discovered that he'd been wrong about his reasons for not having children left him speechless, then determined to return to Leah as quickly as possible. I loved their reunion, which was as sweet and intense as I expected. Even better was how Nicholas revealed that devastating secret he had kept for sixteen years. I ached for his pain, loved the big heart and sweet nature that showed the depth of who he is, and cheered for Leah's reaction. The icing on the cake was their visit to her brother Darius and the revelation of the secret he had kept.

I loved the importance of family in this book and series. I liked how Darius and Trent supported Leah when she needed them, and her determination to do what she must to protect them. Nicholas's love for his family was evident in everything he did. Even though he and his father had their differences, the love and desire for what was best were still there. He also loved his sisters and their families and was fantastic with the children. A big part of this book was also the reconciliation between Nicholas and his older, illegitimate brother Ethan. They were the best of friends as children and teens until they were driven apart by the earl. I liked seeing the steps they took to return to their old relationship. I also enjoyed seeing Nicholas confront Leah's father about his treatment of Leah and the things that Nicholas found out. I thought he got off rather easy, but it was still satisfying to see him get even a fraction of what he deserved. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Feb 20, 2020 |
This novel feels as rushed and hard to follow as Darius did, but at the same time, I really enjoyed the characters and felt for them. I like how all of Burrowes's novels are overlapping. ( )
  ladypembroke | May 17, 2019 |
In Grace Burrowes' last book, [b:Darius|15838403|Darius (Lonely Lords, #1)|Grace Burrowes|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1358051006s/15838403.jpg|21577845], we learned that Darius Lindsey's father, the Earl of Wilton, is a mean, vengeful old man. Darius' sister, Lady Leah, is the primary target of his rage, and as this book opens he plans to marry her off to the poxy, disgusting old Lord Hellerington. Leah is stoic and resigned to her fate, particularly since the earl threatens to take out any disobedience by her on her two beloved brothers.

Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, is heir to the Earl of Bellefont, and he has reluctantly promised his dying father to take a bride very soon. He meets Lady Leah, learns of her predicament, and quickly decides to help her, although at first he isn't sure how he can. Nick is just the type of gentleman to rescue a damsel in distress. He is a literally larger than life character -- big, handsome, charming, and ebulliently affectionate. Soon he realizes that he should marry Leah; he likes her, respects her, and knows she would make a perfect countess. Besides, he is not really looking for a love match. He proposes a marriage in name only to Leah, and although she has reservations she accepts.

Nick doesn't actually explain why he wants a chaste marriage, but he allows Leah to assume it is because he loves his mistress. And there is the mysterious blonde Leonie living on a nearby estate where Nick repeatedly visits.

The problem is that as time passes, Nick and Leah begin to fall in love. Nick has two reasons for his determination never to father a child. Both of them involves his erroneous assumptions about past events in his life, and both could have been resolved easily if he had just asked a few questions. This is a major weakness in the plot, but it doesn't ruin the entire book.

This is a beautiful, deeply heartfelt story of Nick and Leah coming to terms with each other and with their situation. Leah is a dauntless, but a bit dull. Nick, however, is utterly delightful. He loves women, horses, and small children. Everybody loves him in return, especially his eight siblings.

This also is a story of Nick coming to terms with his father's imminent demise and reconciling with his illegitimate older brother, Ethan (hero of the next story, [b:Ethan|16099895|Ethan (Lonely Lords, #3)|Grace Burrowes|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1367615976s/16099895.jpg|21909622]). Their interaction with their father is quite touching, and the earl -- unafraid of death but fearful of losing dignity -- is a finely crafted secondary character. As is usual with Grace Burrowes, there are lots of other secondary characters, but I didn't find this cast of characters as confusing as I have in some of her other books.

As I always say, Grace Burrowes is a very good storyteller, and she does a very good job with this one despite creating a set of circumstances that tend to make Nick look like a big, dumb ox.

( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
NICHOLAS by Grace Burrowes is an exciting Regency Historical Romance. #2 in "The Lonely Lords" series,but can be read as a stand alone. See,"Darius". With secrets,and more secrets,senual tension,betrayal,misunderstandings and finding love. Letting go of the past can be hard for some but to find happiness there must be forgiveness and healing. Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, is determined to save Leah Lindsey from the clutches of her evil father even of that includes marrying her. He feels they must have a "white" marriage, Leah needs protection from her evil,mean-spirited father,but she wants a true marriage and not one in name only. Passion ignites between the two and Nicholas must come to terms with his past in order to go forward with their future. A great read! The cast of characters are realistic and engaging. Ms. Burrowes is a wonderful storyteller and one who has intriguing as well as realistic plots. I would recommend this title and this series,to historical romance readers. I can hardly wait for the rest of "The LonlyLords" series,if they are all as wonderful to read as Darius and Nicholas,what an exciting series. So far I have enjoyed both of these "Lonely Lords" and their feisty ladies. Received for an honest review from the publisher.

RATING: 4.5

HEAT RATING:MILD

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More ( )
  MyBookAddiction | May 30, 2013 |
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After a wild youth, Nicholas Haddonfield, Viscount Reston, has promised his ailing father he'll finally take a bride, though doing so will force Nick to make impossible choices and face old, painful wounds. Leah Lindsey is glad to find refuge from her own desperate situation in a marriage of convenience with the gallant viscount. But soon convenience is not enough and Lean can't understand why Nick remains so distant.

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