Summary- Hannah Reid is a widow. As a young woman she had married an old duke and was waiting for him to die so she could enjoy the title and fortunes (so the rumors go). Now that she is out of mourning Hannah has decided to take a lover and chooses none other than Constantine Huxtable a man that some people believe is the devil incarnate.
My rating- B
This was book 5 of the Huxtable series. Book 1 was my least favorite. I think this one is my second least favorite.
In book 1 the reader is introduced to the long standing quarrel between Elliot and Constantine. Elliot believes Constantine has been stealing from his mentally handicapped brother and ruining local women. Constantine doesn’t deny it. He then does everything in his power to annoy Elliot. Including introducing Elliot’s wife Vanessa to Elliot’s former mistress. This book goes into a lot of detail about what happened and solves the feud. I am really glad I read book 1 shortly before this book because the middle books had little about the Elliot Constantine feud and it would not have been as powerful a read.
Hannah and Constantine have very bad reputations but turn out to be much better than average people. She has sold her jewels to create a home for the elderly and Constantine is running a refuge for unwed mothers and other undesirables.
I think I was a little annoyed that Hannah and Constantine end up being so good. I wanted them both to be just a bit bad. I wanted it to be justified of course. We can’t have our heroes being bad people. But do they have to be such Angels? Hannah had been rumored to be a gold digger as a wife and a woman who was cheating on her husband all their marriage. Instead, she loses her virginity to Constantine. Her dear Duke never consummated the marriage and she was completely faithful to him.
There was almost too much goodness in these characters. So much that it started to cross the line into unbelievable.
On the other hand, there were many times in the book where I cried. And I really did like Constantine and Hannah is an awed kind of way. I wish I could ever been that good.
I was a bit annoyed with the Huxtable cousins who were quick to judge Hannah when Kate, Meg, and Stephen had all had unsubstantiated rumors involved in their love stories. Stephen had married a woman who was rumored to have murdered her husband. Meg is married to a man who was rumored to have stolen another man’s wife and to have had an illegitimate child with her. Yet they are quick to warn Constantine that Hannah is a gold digger who will break his heart. Assuming he even has one since he carries on affairs rather regularly.
Overall, this book stretched being believable. But, it also was very touching. It was a nice end to the series.