Sera Miller has spent ten years knowing she is a bastard however someone is paying her tuition to a prestigious school. Before she takes a big step in her life and accepts a teaching position at the school she wants to know who her benefactor is. With a little searching she learns it is Fletcher Thomas, a man from her past. His father and her mother had been lovers once upon a time.
Fletcher’s father was the king of the underworld and when he died Fletcher took over. But the only thing Fletcher wants is Sera. He uses his considerable wealth to store her away for a time when he will be respectable and then he will make her his wife. For ten years Fletcher hides from Sera until he is caught at the gates of the school observing her.
Perhaps he should give in to the temptation. Bestow the money upon her personally. Few things in his life actually posed such a temptation. If he wanted liquor, he drank it. If he wanted women, he took them. If he needed money, he made it- by fair or foul means. The idea that there was something he could not touch petted his fur the wrong direction.
Once Sera finds out who he is, she refuses to take charity any longer. She installs herself in his house for the purpose of furthering his goal of becoming good. She will be a companion to someone he brings in and she will redecorate his house and tidy up his affairs. Neither of them expect the passion to take over their daily lives. Because Fletcher must have her he offers marriage years before he wants to and Sera accepts.
There were several times throughout the book that I really disliked Sera. I want to pound my kindle on the wall in reaction to her. She was so closed off and unwilling to grab ahold of what was being offered to her. She was so afraid to indulge in the passion between them because she didn’t want to become like her mother and lose the small hold on respectability she might have. She takes it so far that they can only have sex at night and in the dark. It was stifling and staid. I almost didn’t like her but her emotions and actions were so true to the story. They created such wonderful angst and I crave angst in my historical romance. I didn’t feel as if she were being too stubborn because just at the moment where I was ready to give up on her she would do the unexpected.
Fletcher was perfect. How can you complain about a man who has spent 10 years trying to divest himself of his father’s sins in order to be worthy of the woman he wants? I found myself wavering on whether I wanted him to actually go good or not. At one point, he questions if Sera will ever love him if he isn’t successful with being on the straight and narrow. I kind of wanted to know the answer to that. I wanted her to be forced to love him for who he was and not what he could be. He had been working his whole life to obtain respectability for her, what did she ever do for him? My one complaint about the book stems from this issue. The issue of respectability cleared up a little too easily and we were never allowed to see if Sera would love Fletcher for just being Fletcher.
I found after I had started Wayward One that Lorelie Brown is part of the Katie Porter writing pair. Having just read a Katie Porter book I was completely amazed that I didn’t see any similarity in that book and this one. There were two totally different writing styles and voices. If you do or don’t like Katie Porter don’t let that change your thoughts on this book. If you want a wonderfully written historical romance filled with good angst and two complex individuals that are perfect for each other, well this is the book for you. Final grade- A-
He lowered his head near. She stared out at the room beyond his wide shoulder. Chairs, a few tables. Everything draped in soft cloths to conceal the awkward limbs of the furniture. She’d had tea in this room, sat with Victoria and Lottie as they laughed and played at embroidery.
Now she was getting rogered against the wall.