In one day, Nicole Keller loses her father and her home. When Josiah Keller's ship is lost at sea, Nikki learns that he had put the family home up as collateral. The only option left to Nicole and her mother is to head to England where her aristocratic uncle has offered them a home. When Nicole realizes that her cruel uncle plans to wed her off to an aging and depraved marquis, she turns to the Chadwick Masters, the handsome and appealing earl she meets at a London ball. Chad is in search of a wife has found none to please him among the typical eligible ladies of the ton. Nicole, uniquely beautiful and outspokenly American, and in offering her marriage, he sees the perfect opportunity to find a convenient wife and help her avoid her uncle's twisted plans for her.
Lily Gayle's Slightly Tarnished is an engaging and richly layered romance. Nicole and Chad are both complex characters, each bound together and yet kept apart by the grief and tragedies they have experienced in their lives. Their attraction is powerful, but there are conflicts aplenty that make keep happy ending just out of reach. The story develops with a steady unhurried pace, allowing deep development of each character and many opportunities for the love between Nicole and Chad to grow. Ms. Gayle's plot is full of twists and turns and peopled with vibrant secondary characters that are nearly as interesting as the hero and heroine.
Slightly Tarnished isn't a quick, frivolous read. It's an opportunity to settle in, get to know characters well, spend time in another era and follow the ups and downs of love and marriage as Nicole and Chad move toward their well-deserved happy ending.
Victorian romance laced with danger.
When a brooding English earl with a Slightly Tarnished reputation marries his dead wife’s American cousin to save her from an uncle’s vengeful schemes, the sea captain’s daughter with a taste for adventure sparks desires he thought long dead. Nicole Keller has always been headstrong and independent, but after a failed business venture and a sinking ship take her father, her home, and her childhood sweetheart, Nikki must support herself and her mother. But moving to England and marrying Chadwick Masters, Earl of Gilchrest isn’t what she has in mind. And falling in love with the mysterious earl could endanger both their lives.