Title: Queen of My Hart
Author: Emily Royal
Series: Headstrong Harts (Book 2)
Page Length: 421
Publication Date: Nov. 24, 2020
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Synopsis: Sometimes, a losing hand can be the greatest victory of all.
Born into poverty, self-made banker Dexter Hart is now one of the wealthiest men in London. His ambition is to marry a title—and who better than the daughter of his enemy Viscount Alderley, the man who once whipped him as a boy, and on whom he vowed revenge? But Dexter’s plan backfires, and he finds himself tricked into marrying Alderley’s illegitimate daughter instead.
Margaret Alder has known heartbreak and betrayal, and has lived in exile and disgrace for eight years. When her natural father rips her away from her home, he bullies her into marrying a stranger. The marriage thrusts Meggie into a world she doesn’t understand, with a bridegroom even more reluctant than she—a world of society, traditions and etiquette, where even the servants don’t hide their scorn. But she soon learns that beneath her husband’s ruthless exterior lies a passionate man who renders her breathless with his fiery kisses and skilful touch.
Meggie rises to the challenge and proves herself an intelligent and kind-hearted woman, and Dexter wonders whether Fate chose for him a better wife than he would have chosen for himself.
But when Meggie’s past returns to haunt her, she must decide whether she can trust the husband she’s growing to love—or risk losing him forever.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.
A well-paced historical romance with great characters, Queen of My Hart begins when Dexter, determined to marry into a title, makes a bet with Viscount Alderley, a man that whipped him as a child and disrespects him as an adult. Though he wins the gamble, his plan to marry Alderley’s daughter Elizabeth backfires when Alderley presents his eldest, illegitimate daughter, Meggie.
Meggie has no relationship with her father and is stunned when he comes to force her to marry a stranger. When he threatens all she holds dear, Meggie has no choice but to marry Dexter, but she decides to make the best of an unfortunate situation in order to protect those she cares about. She never expects to develop feelings for the brash and brutally honest man she married, nor does Dexter expect to become smitten by the lovely Meggie. But with secrets from their past in the way, can this couple ever give in to their feelings and learn to trust each other?
Meggie is such a remarkable character. She is kind and friendly, and she cares deeply. Not overly experienced in the ways of high society, Meggie often makes social blunders. She is a woman who has been through a lot, including abandonment and living a life of heartbreak and betrayal. However, she still has this unbreakable resilience and optimism.
Dexter is very different from Meggie. Closed off and brutally honest, he holds people at a distance. He’s a successful and ambitious man, but even his own siblings can’t break through his tough exterior. Dexter is hard-working and determined to elevate his station in society, but he doesn’t nurture some of the most important relationships in his life until he meets Meggie.
Both Dexter and Meggie have trust issues, and since their marriage started under unconventional circumstances, they struggle to fully open up to each other. It’s clear that they have feelings for each other, but abandonment issues and fear of rejection hinder them. It was lovely to see them slowly connect and learn to open up to each other.
I enjoyed this historical romance. The characters are well-developed and interesting, and the romance is filled with chemistry. There are times when I wanted to shake Dexter and knock some sense into him, and I didn’t love the abundance of predatory men, but Meggie and the romance made up for it. Thanks so much to Netgalley, Dragonblade Publishing, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Sometimes it’s the invisible injuries that give rise to the most lasting damage.
This is the second book in the series but can be read as a standalone. Both books are great for readers who love historical romance.