Author: Sally MacKenzie
Original Title: Loving Lord Ash
Release Year: 2014
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, regency
Series: 3° of Duchess of Love
Loving Lord Ash is a good romance. A really good one which, with a bit more, could have been one of the best I've read lately (and to be honest, this last period has not been characterised by a mountain of masterpieces, at lest for my taste).
There are in particular two aspects I would have loved better if more developed: first, the Manor's servants situation and second, the one I really care about: Percy's feelings towards Jess; that part of the plot is too rushed, I mean, is central in the novel but at the end of the story is solved very easily.
Kit, the Marquis of Ashton, married for love, but an horrible discover has separated him from his lovely wife Jess. As soon as married, both very young, they divided their paths, living different lives for eight years; lives characterised by regret, sorrow, loneliness, doubts and a strong and unforgettable love, which despite is strength, at the time, wasn't enough too keep them together.
But now Kit is thirty and needs an heir and moreover, he wants to try to settle the problems with his wife, the woman who he's reluctant to trust but who still loves as the first day.
Jess knows she's the one who destroyed her marriage, however innocently; she's always been in love with her husband, since they were children and used to play together, but now she has been left alone in the family country Manor, suffering for her loneliness and the gossips about her husband's love encounters. The only people she can rely on is the peculiar household, especially the handsome Roger, who she often uses as model for her paintings and who she considers her best friend and nothing more than the brother she has never had.
Unfortunately is exactly during one of their naked painting session that her husband decides to come back to solve their problems...but the things are not as they seem and she needs to explain Kit that they have been separated all these years because of a sad and terrible misunderstanding and now, she has and wants, to fight very hard to conquer back the love of her life.
The characters are lovely, they are amazingly portrayed, especially the protagonists. I've loved both Kit and Jess, and, why not, Percy, who should be the antagonist, is really good too.
I enjoyed all Kit and Jess' interactions, they are sentimentally strong and Jess' relationship with Roger and the rest of the household is quite touching, I would have loved to know more about it.
If you are looking for a passionate romance, this one is not exactly the answer, it's definitely not chaste but the “physical” aspect is quite platonic for the most of the plot; but Loving Lord Ash is a really good love story, I warmly suggest it!
Duchess of Love series: 0,5. The duchess of love (Venus, Andrew) 1. Bedding Lord Ned (Ned, Edward)
2. Surprising Lord Jack (Jack, Frances)
3. Loving Lord Ash (Christian, Jessica)
** I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review, thank you for the opportunity.