I was first turned on (pun intended) to Courtney Milan thanks to Stacey's review of Proof by Seduction. Which I also ended up loving and have been eagerly anticipating this sequel for some time now!
During his absence, his wife Kate has spend her time shopping and gossiping, or so she's lead all of society to believe. When, in fact, she has been fighting off a number of would be 'suitors' vying to win the attentions of the woman abandoned by her husband. In additon, Kate has been taking on monumental tasks like hiding her best friend from her abusive husband, hardly the acts of the oblivious socialite she's accused of being. And, in a time, when women were still considered property, helping her friend could put Kate in a great deal of danger.
When Ned and Kate reunite a battle of wits and seduction ensues. However, Kate is still hurt by Ned's abandonment and Ned is determined not to let his emotional guard down, especially where his wife is concerned. She is the one person who could unravel it all.
I have to say I think the book's description is a bit misleading. It says that "Ned is determined to regain his wife’s trust by using unbridled seduction." However, Kate is the one that is pushing for both physical and emotional intimacy but Ned is afraid of losing his grip on his hard won control.
I love how Milan manages to balance a slew of intense topics: abuse, betrayal, and depression with romance without having it feel like some historical soap opera. Instead she weaves a tale of strength, redemption, forgiveness, and love. Courtney Milan is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.
If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend reading Proof by Seduction before picking up Trial by Desire, but it's not necessary to read them in order. Trial by Desire is out now, what are you waiting for?! Go get it!
The series in order:
Disclosure: I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review.