Type: Historical Romance
My Copy: NetGalley
He’s a fighter, not a lover. But that’s about to change… Lady Imogene Norwood lives a sheltered life of quiet respectability and routine…until she debuts at her first Season. There among London’s elite she meets the wild and broken Lord Atwood. And the very shy English rose suddenly realizes that a little chaos might just be what her heart desires.
Lord Nathaniel James Atwood doesn’t believe true love exists. Since scandal tore him away from his family at an early age, he has spent his life fighting for what he wants. That attitude has made him a rising star in bare-knuckle boxing, and now leads him back to London to reclaim the life that was stolen from him. But upon meeting the innocent Imogene, his beliefs are trounced…as guarding his heart against her proves to be the fight of his life.
This is a heartrending and wonderful story that finishes a dark historical trilogy. I loved this story and was an emotional wreck while reading as it took me through a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Edward Coleman has had a rough life, filled with gambling, drinking and boxing. He has lived in eleven different parts of New York City avoiding creditors, his wife and his mother-in-law. However his mother-in-law eventually finds him to give him the grim news that his wife has died. Jane was someone Coleman had tried to save once; however he could never get her to stop drinking, which was what eventually killed her. His mother-in-law also brought information that Jane had been in contact with some gentlemen about an advertisement in the newspaper which stated: Information wanted: A British boy by the name of Nathaniel James Atwood who disappeared in the year
1800 under suspicious circumstances is being sought out by his family. Coleman is stunned that after all these years someone is finally looking for him.
Coleman’s best friend Matthew was confused as he had known Coleman for eight years and never knew he was married or an aristo. Coleman never gave up much about himself and kept many secrets. Over the years Coleman and Matthew always tried to help others living in the Five Points area as much as possible, they created the Forty Thieves to help those less fortunate; however Coleman now realizes he must deal with his past and future in order to move on. He believes that if he answers the advertisement he can put to rest the boy known as Nathaniel.
Coleman goes to the Hotel to meet up with the Duke of Wentworth and Lord Yardley, he plans to tell them that Nathaniel died years ago, get the reward and be done, however as soon as they tell him that his beloved sister (Augustine/Auggie) was dead he succumbs to grief, and they realize that he is Nathaniel. He learns that Auggie devoted her entire life to trying to find him and kept a diary about everything she was thinking. He also finds out that both his mother and father are still alive, however no one ever informed his parents that they have been looking because his sister always believed their father was responsible for the disappearance. It takes him several months to get things straightened out enough to finally take a trip with Matthew to England.
Imogene Norwood is a sheltered young woman, her brother Henry has tried to keep her safe after she suffered at the hands of a governess when she was young. Yet she is always worrying about her brother, as she believes the reason for the problems he faces are because of her. He married a woman he hates because he needed money and is miserable and wants out of the marriage. He spends most of his time watching the fights and believes if only he had some extra money to sponsor a fighter they could win the Championship of England. Imogene finds out about Henry’s wish and decides that with a small inheritance she will help him get his freedom as well as her independence.
Henry spots Coleman while he is teaching other young men to fight, noticing right away that he is the man that could win the championship. Coleman and Henry talk and eventually they make their way to Henry’s home where Coleman meets Imogene and they both create a lasting impression for each other. After a few days of negotiations Imogene decides that the only way to keep Coleman from ducking out of his obligations (which he is known to do) is to make a marriage bargain with him which can be dissolved after the big fight. Word spreads that the missing heir and Lady Imogene are married and that he is training to fight for the Championship of England. The town is buzzing as the citizens try to find out more information about the pair.
Coleman knows that the real reason he is in England is that he must face his past, he visits his father who does not acknowledge that he is Nathaniel. Coleman tells him that although he has forgiven his abductor (Casacalenda), he will never forgive him for what he did.
Coleman is a man that is hurting and has never trusted anyone enough to tell his story to; he believes those that know him will look at him differently. However as he and Imogene spend time together he finally trusts her enough to tell his tale as it is a painful story of broken hearts, abandonment and secrets, enough secrets to destroy a family. As the big fight looms, Coleman and Imogene grow closer and realize they can withstand anything as long as they are together.
I loved this story; actually the whole series was wonderful. The compelling heartbreaking story started with the novella and the characters are all interwoven together throughout the series. You could probably read individually however all the books together give you the total picture as there is an overall story arc and the timelines overlap. You can see that the characters, Imogene and Coleman belonged together, that the chemistry works, you felt the hurt that Coleman has been feeling all these years. And as he cries while telling his story to Imogene, I was crying also.
I give Forever a Lord by Delilah Marvelle 5 stars!