Love or family…
How can she choose between them?
Lady Cecily Beauchamp has always put her family first. Until she falls under the spell of the mysterious Zachary Gray—a man of Romany descent. Knowing her family will forbid their match, Cecily steels herself to do her duty and marry elsewhere. Only she finds herself irresistibly drawn to Zach as the spark between them ignites a passion neither can deny!
Oh. My word! What an incredible addition to this series, after reading the previous book ‘Scandal and Miss Markham’ I did wonder if this series could get any better but along came ‘Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray’ and boom! This was how a perfectly great series, that I loved from the start can become something extortionary – it was one of those ‘How have I gone through life, without this in it??’ moments. This is a book that has got pride of a place on my bookshelf and one that I know for a fact, I will be pulling off to read again, and again and again….
Cecily is feeling out of sorts since her two-brother’s married, she has always looked after her family, she has always been the one responsible for the day to day running of the Beauchamp home and now, but now with Leo getting himself a new Duchess she feels like she isn’t needed any more. She feels like an interloper in her own family, she is at a loss and is contemplating what her future will be as the spinster sister and aunt. Then she meets a mysterious stranger with the twinkling diamond in his ear and she is mesmerised by him, she knows she shouldn’t, but she can’t help herself. When he looks at her it’s like he is looking into her very heart and soul, and when they talk, he says so much in just a few words and it is in those few words that he gives her the best advice anyone has ever given her; she has choices!
“Zach. Call me Zach,” His touch sent tingles racing up her arm and another flush to heat her cheeks. The memory of his lips on hers seared her brain.
“Zachary. That is my name”
“But…Absalom. They said you are Absalom Grey.” She stared up at him. At the intensity of his expression’
“Absalom is my middle name. I should like to hear my given name on your lips. But I shall not insist, you do s you wish.”
As I wish…it reinforced the message he had tried to convey about her future. She could choose.
She smiled “Zachary, then. Thank you for listening, Zach.” He bowed over her hand, turned it and feathered war, soft lips across her sensitive skin at her wrist…
Zach due to secrets that he would rather know one know about has chosen to live his lonely Romany life, constantly moving on, he is trying to catch up with his family who is already on the move. But as he is good friends with Danial Markham he has stopped off at Markham Manor where he meets innocent and enchanting, Cecily – or as he dub’s her ‘Lady Perfect’. Being the sister of a Duke Zach knows that she is way out of his league but he sees something in her that she doesn’t show to the world. A sensual and passionate woman who seems so lost. Meeting her confuses him, he knows that he really should move on and follow his own – but, he can’t walk away from her. Especially when she tells him that she has finally made a choice about her life, one he knows won’t give her the freedom she so desperately craves but one that will destroy her.
After a passionate encounter on a moonlit night, they both cannot get enough of each other, they are inexplicably drawn to each other. They enjoy stolen kisses and moments until their attraction is soon discovered and they are forbidden from seeing each, but they cannot deny their feeling for each other. For the first time in Cecily’s life she has found someone who genuinely understands her, but she is torn. She loves her family dearly and she doesn’t want to do anything that will hurt them, or even worse she doesn’t want to lose them. But, her feelings for Zach have taken on a whole life of their own, can she really have her perfect life with both sides?
Now I liked Leo, I was intrigued by Vernon, but I am drawn to Zach. Like a moth to a flame! He is a magnificent specimen of a man. Pure, honest, sexy as hell 😉 there is a sensitive, calmness about him that mystifies you, It’s true, I am a little in love with this charismatic, dashing and mystical creature.
What I particularly like about Zach is that he really listens, he really listens to Cecily when she is at her most vulnerable, he hears what her heart is saying without her speaking a word. He is a man of few words but when he chooses to speak, he is honest and profound. He is by far one of the sexiest hero’s I have come across, he has a fabulous mind and an intelligence that blows your mind. He is a calming influence on unsettled souls, he draws you in with his mysterious charm and twinkling dark eyes and soothes your ruffled feathers with nothing more than his presence. No wonder animals love him like they do, he oozes serenity!
He popped his elbows on his knees and rested his chin on his hands. “Tell me”
He said no more but waited. Where should she start?
But, she knew the answer to that, for what had he been telling her all along? She would speak from her heart. “I have been thinking about what you said.”
I have said a great many things.” His teeth gleamed as he smiled…
Zach has secrets that he would rather not share with anyone, and he has a real sadness deep down, he has a wound of his own that he has carried around with him for a long time. When he meets Cecily, he not only helps her to be the person she really is, but she helps him. He is enchanted by her she is like a beacon of light to him, she is so pure and other worldy that he can’t get enough of her.
It is such a beautifully written love story our couple face their fair share of trials and predjudice from society – especially Cecily’s family! But they are magical together, it’s like they were born for each other. The only thing I didn’t like about this was how disregarding and disrespecting I thought Leo – Cecily’s Ducal brother – was to Zach. True like any brother he was just looking out for his sister, but there was a certain unpleasantness to how he started to treat Zach as soon as he realised that Cecily and Zach had feelings for each other. I thought Leo’s character was so different to what we have come to know, I saw him in a completely different light in this. I knew that he was a bit of a stick in the mud and stuck in his arrogant Ducal ways. This one for me, really showed just how disregarding to those below his status he can be. How much prejudice he holds when it comes to people outside of his sphere and truthfully my opinion of him lowered dramatically. I don’t know if that was intentional by Ms Preston, and if it was then it is a brilliant piece of writing – but then the whole book is anyway!
What an ending, it is hugely romantic, spectacularly composed! With the addition of beautiful Athena the owl, the end is the stuff of dreams. It is a beautiful scene and one that I can definitely see as a movie scene is just perfect, as is all the book!
I absolutely love this book, these characters – especially a few of the animals that have been added to the story, I do have to say that little Myrtle has to be a favourite of mine and I am sure that anyone who knows me will know why. This has to be my favourite of this series, I don’t know how Ms Preston is going to top this, personally, I don’t think it’s possible to get a better love story.
Loved every moment of it, and I am looking forward to seeing where this series is going to go.
This was a ARC via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Lady Cecily and the Mysterious Mr Gray is to be released on 3rd May and can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.