Lord Hadleigh, Crown Prosecutor, could not abide to see a woman
suffer. He had admired Lady Penny Penhurst's fortitude when she
testified against her husband, but seeing the traitor punished had
nearly cost her everything. Hadleigh is a brilliant barrister but, at first,
he makes a mess of trying to help Penny. She doesn't need charity, she
wants to reclaim the woman she once was, not owe anyone anything.
She wants to earn her keep and live peacefully with her little son,
Freddie. The perfect opportunity presents itself when the preparations
begin for the trial of the mastermind behind the smuggling case that
has occupied the King's Elite for the better part of two years. Hadleigh
needs to concentrate on his job, and the long-abandoned family estate
will serve as headquarters to the Elite. Hadleigh will be able to justify
hiring Penny as the housekeeper, thus providing her with employment
and easing his conscience.
Even though The King's Elite is all about spies, it was Lord Hadleigh I
found the most mysterious and intriguing, and I was drawn to him from
the start. Always so professional, "meticulous and thorough," I had no
idea what to expect from the enigmatic lawyer. Virginia Heath more
than rose to the challenge to deliver a story of incredible depth, with
exceptionally compelling characters.
THE DETERMINED LORD
HADLEIGH is a monument of insightful writing as Virginia Heath
slowly peels away layer after layer to reveal her most complex hero
ever, with the aid of dialogues that are veritable works of art. It is
fascinating to watch this Regency lawyer at work while battling his
personal demons in this extraordinarily nuanced character study.
Seldom have I been so engrossed in watching a character "be" and
grow. If Hadleigh is a knight in barrister robes, Penny balks at being his
damsel in distress. Both characters have very compelling backstories,
they are ideally suited, and they truly care about each other. Theirs is
an intense and realistic romance; they need to come to terms with who
they are and what they aspire to as individuals before acknowledging
their attraction and acting on it. I admit I was furious for a moment with
Penny towards the end; I thought she chose the wrong time to make
her intentions known. I understood her reticence, but by Jove, you silly
woman, open your eyes and don't hurt this wonderful, misguided man!
As you can see, I was deeply invested in the story; I would have been
happy with a couple hundred pages more, which is unusual for me. Not
because it felt incomplete, but because I didn't want to let these people
go; it is that outstanding!
I wish I could say that I'm sad to see this series end, but I honestly
can't; it is so perfect, there's nothing more to add. The story arc is over,
all the loose ends have been neatly tied, and a glorious epilogue gives
us a glimpse of all our couples in the future. THE DETERMINED LORD HADLEIGH is a remarkable
and unforgettable story, and the best conclusion to a series I have ever
Part of The King’s Elite: Haunted by Penny Penhurst’s
courage on the witness stand, meticulous barrister Lord
Hadleigh offers her a housekeeper position at his estate.
Despite trying to stay detached, Hadleigh is charmed by
her small child and surprised by how much he yearns for
this proud woman! Can he break through his own—and
Penny’s—barriers to prove he’s a man she can trust…and