After the Scandal (The Reckless Brides #4) by Elizabeth Essex
Wow! Tanner and Claire! Wonderful stuff!
Foolishly going for a stroll on the terrace, Lady Claire Jellicoe is attacked by her escort, Lord Peter Rosing. Tanner Evans, ninth Duke of Fenmore, rescues Claire from the would-be rapist. Together they escape the frightening reality of the situation and Tanner takes her by punt along the Thames to relax. Only they discover a body. It is the lady's maid, Maisy Carter that Claire had used at Tanner's grandmother's house party.
Claire doesn't want to return to the party and Tanner wants her safe. Even before he met her he'd been 'devoted to this exquisite orchid of a young woman.' He'd loved her from afar, madly and secretly.
Tanner and Claire continue their trip to Chelsea to try to uncover more information about the dead maid. This is only the beginning.
As the story progresses we see the vulnerability of Tanner and the strength beneath the outward fragility of Claire.
Propriety be damned--Claire wanted justice. She found both love and justice!
Tanner Evans had not always been a Lord. He'd been a thief, the Tanner!
The background of Tanner is indeed 'ripe for the plucking' in terms of rewarding stories.
A sentiment the author confirms in her post script.
Note to self: Must make sure to read the whole series!
Post Script: I have now read all in the series thus far and am even more enamoured by The Reckless Brides stories.
A NetGalley ARC