Meredith Duran delivers an emotional love story of reconciliation and healing in her return to the Rules for the Reckless series.
The Sins of Lord Lockwood begins with a whirlwind romance between the charming William “Liam” Devaliant and Anna Wallace, a confident and courageous Scottish heiress. Though their marriage is one of convenience, their attraction is palpable, and it’s easy to see that their arrangement would lead to something more, if not for a dreadful tragedy.
Following their wedding, Liam goes missing, and Anna’s heart breaks at the thought that her new husband has abandoned her and that she’s misinterpreted their chemistry all along. In reality, he was kidnapped, imprisoned and sent to a penal colony. It takes nearly four years for the pair to be reunited, and even then, their marriage is fraught with dark and dangerous feelings.
Liam is out for revenge, consumed with his desire to unmask the men responsible for his disappearance. He also suffers from severe PTSD, and trying to rebuild a life with the wife he left behind is a huge uphill battle. Duran doesn’t go into the gritty details of Liam’s imprisonment, instead hinting at the traumas and abuse he endured in well-deployed pricks of memory. Anna has had to live with her feelings of neglect and abandonment for years, as well as the knowledge that she’s been a source for all kinds of gossip. And even after Liam returns, she realizes the man she married may still be lost to her.
Duran is incredibly adept at piecing together each part of Liam and Anna’s relationship, flashing back to pivotal moments throughout The Sins of Lord Lockwood. We see their courtship and flirtation, the pain their separation causes both of them, and how much their time apart has changed them. Liam worries he has no room in his heart for love when he’s so fueled by anger. He’s very much a wounded animal, so unlike the charismatic lord Anna married. Tears will be shed over how desperately Anna wants to convey to Liam that she’s there for him, despite how much his shame makes him push her away.
The romance is hard won but worth it. Seeing Liam and Anna fight tooth and nail for one another is exactly what makes a happily ever after so satisfying. It’s raw. It’s real. And honestly, it’s easy to feel jealous of Liam. Anyone would be lucky to have Anna and her perseverance for the people she loves most.
The Sins of Lord Lockwood is a book that readers will adore, even as their hearts are being put through the wringer. Trust me, it hurts so good.