Having read the previous books in this series, I waited patiently to read Brahm Ryland, Viscount Creed's story. Portrayed as complex, yet deeply loving of his brothers, I always knew that discovering the reason for his deep sadness was going to make one heck of a story. I was not wrong!
Brahm was a drunk - plain and simple, but for the last few years he'd fought the battle and had remained sober. Slowly, he was building bridges and being accepted back into the society that had labeled him bad ton! Receiving an invitation from Lord Burroughs, father of the woman whose betrothal he'd ruined ten years before, offered him a chance to finally make amends to the one person he'd never wanted to hurt.
Eleanor Durbane, had many years to get over the ache left in her heart after Brahm's betrayal, but to have him show up unexpectedly at her father's invitation was just about more than she could bear. With her sisters warning Eleanor against him, Brahm knew he walked a tightrope in convincing her to trust him again. If nothing else, Brahm was determined to do anything he could to tell his side of the story, to apologize, and if the God's were kind give him one more chance to woo the one lady who after all these years still held his heart captive.
*** Completely stand-alone, Smith does a marvelous job in this wonderful character study exposing the pain of betrayal, and the agony faced while trying to win back the trust of the one true love Brahm had hurt so badly. Neither did she sugar coat Brahm's struggles of taking `one day at a time' in his battle with alcohol addiction, weaving this into a compelling and poignant storyline. I found this to be an exquisitely sensual, romantically poignant and emotionally powerful read that I highly recommend.