Why Lords Lose Their Hearts
St. Martin's Press / July 29, 2014 / $7.99 print / digital
Perdita, the widowed Duchess of Ormond, keeps a dangerous secret—the truth of how her brutish husband died. But a mysterious avenger seems to know it, too, and when anonymous threats turn into public attacks, there’s only one friend she can turn to for help—her husband’s former secretary, Lord Archer Lisle. The man who witnessed her every heartache. The kind of man whose love she can only dream of…
The youngest of the Duke of Pemberton’s five sons, Lord Archer Lisle is used to waiting his turn. For years, he could only stand by, seething, as Perdita suffered at the hands of her husband, but now she’s under threat from another source—one who will stop at nothing to make her pay for the late duke’s death. But the good-natured Archer can be dangerous when crossed—and he’ll do anything to keep the woman he’s adored for so long safe in his arms…
For the third and final installment of the Wicked Widows trilogy, Why Lords Lose Their Hearts, Manda Collins does a brilliant job at building the suspense, with a strong element of danger and paranoia that will keep you on edge even as you root for the romance. The heroine, Perdita, was in an abusive marriage to the Duke of Ormond. The hero, Lord Archer, is the youngest son of a Duke, and also the secretary to the Duke of Ormond. Don’t be fooled, he is a lion wearing lamb’s wool. Underneath the appearance of being just another loyal “employee” he is quite the force to be reckoned with, especially when it comes to going after what he wants and protecting Perdita. But he wasn’t an alpha hero in an over intimidating way.
For years she’d known—deep down in the heart of her where no one could see but her—that Archer could make her feel this way. He’d always been more sensitive to her moods and feelings than any man had the right to be. It was one of the things that made him such a good secretary. Head had an innate ability to read people. And he’d been able to see through to her soul form the moment they’d met.
Overall, what makes Why Lords Lose Their Hearts work as a great romance read is the trust between the hero and heroine. The reader really gets to dive deep into Perdita’s thoughts and reactions as an abused victim who has given up on love. We can’t expect an abused heroine to just trust any willing gentleman who lends a helping hand. The shame and guilt that Perdita feels throughout the novel make her even more determined to avoid another toxic relationship. Archer does an excellent job of winning Perdita’s trust and proving that he’s her hero, and he’s cared about her all along.
On top of this, they have to find out who’s framing her for the death of her jerk husband—before she herself is murdered. It became very easy to question the intentions of all the side characters. Plot twists unfold, with revealing a secret knowledge that would only make the reader and the two main characters panic. And I’ll admit, without spoilers, that the reveal of the insane stalker/murderer gave me goose bumps, especially because I had not read the previous two novels in the series, so it felt like a random shock that I could not have predicted. This isn’t your average sleepy-day tea-sipping historical romance, but it gets two (slightly jittery) thumbs up!
Learn more about or order a copy of Why Lords Lose Their Hearts by Manda Collins, available July 29, 2014:
Jena Briars is a California girl living in D.C., feeding her brain one romance novel at a time...When she’s not busy at work, or being distracted (sometimes ambushed) by her cat, she reviews romances on her website Throughout the Pages.