When gossip is spread about someone, whether it is true or false, it can affect that person’s life for years to come. The Scandalous Summerfields is about four siblings who suffered because of the actions of their parents, and one of the sisters is still greatly feeling the effects in the fourth and final book in the series. While this woman was a thoughtful individual, and she did her best to help those for whom she cared, her own future is bleak. But when circumstances change in an instant, she finds herself facing a multitude of obstacles before being truly happy. Diane Gaston makes BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION a realistic Regency story, as so many outside factors influenced lives during this period when social status was so important.
To help make the future better for her two sisters and half-brother, Lorene Summerfield married a much older man. She has been a respectful wife to her husband, but there was never any love between them. Thankfully, her siblings have found partners whom they adore, so she is gratified in knowing her sacrifice paid off. One night, there is a confrontation at her home that has a tragic ending. Lorene’s husband is now dead, and the Earl of Penford may possibly be blamed for his death.
Although Lorene has secretly been attracted to Dell, she had never let anyone know of her fascination. But with her callous husband now gone, perhaps the days ahead will actually be much more pleasurable for her. Unfortunately, suspicions about what took place on that fateful night bring trouble for Dell, and Lorene worries he may suffer because of their friendship, a connection which she wants to be closer yet knows it never can be.
The number of challenges Lorene and Dell must face throughout the story just keep adding up, and it certainly seemed like they would never be able to have a relationship that lasted. I so wanted these two to get together, but the time in which they lived kept them apart because of society’s rules. Though Lorene had never done anything wrong, her reputation was tarnished because of what others did in the past. I am definitely glad to not have lived in a time where many people judged someone so harshly, as these opinions often led to needless misery. Dell has his own personal troubles, and he lives his life in memory of his family, not his goals. Neither he or Lorene are really happy, and they fear the consequences of them appearing to be in a relationship. Diane Gaston made their feelings very evident, and I ached right along with them on numerous occasions when things did not go as they wished. BOUND BY THEIR SECRET PASSION is an emotional romance packed with heartache yet also hopeful longing.
With this being the last book in the series, I was delighted to see all the past couples featured, thus letting me get caught up with their current lives. There are also plenty of other secondary characters in the story that I came to know well, as their personalities were brought to life with colorful behavior. The author inserted historical facts into quite a few scenes, and I enjoyed these moments of reality.
I voluntarily reviewed the book and all comments are my honest opinion
Series: The Scandalous Summerfields
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Releases: March 21, 2017
Author website: http://dianegaston.com/
Rating: 4 Stars