Nicole Jordan returns with the fourth in the Paradise series.
Alex Ryder grew up on the island of Cyrene. His childhood was rough but he was determined to make something of himself. His only friend was Lady Eve Montlow whose family had moved to Cyrene to escape their debts in England. She has always known that it would be her responsibility to marry well to rescue her family from poverty.
Alex has loved Eve since he met her. He waited for her to grow up while he earned enough money to save her from the marriage her family had planned for her. But all of Alex's plans become moot when her family refuses his suit, for he is a mere soldier of fortune and not good enough for her. Eve is married to the Earl of Hayden and leaves Cyrene forever.
When Alex learns that Eve has been widowed, he travels to London along with Eve's brother and sister and armed with plans to win Eve's hand. His plans alter dramatically when he learns that Eve has no desire to wed again. Two of her late husband's aunts live with Eve now and they consider Alex beneath their touch even though he has just been knighted. When Alex, in an attempt to spend time with her, approaches Eve about her renowned matchmaking abilities, she agrees to help him find a wife.
Circumstances change when attempts are made on Eve's life. Alex must protect Eve and her family and, when her sister is kidnapped, calls on his fellow Guardians to help him discover the villain's identity.
As a rabid fan of Ms. Jordan's work, I awaited the release of this book with great anticipation. It's with even greater pleasure that I can say that the wait was not in vain. The book is peopled with great characters, the kind of people one would want to meet.
We see the aunts' attitude toward our hero unbend gradually as he proves that bloodlines don't guarantee the character of the man. We see our heroine begin to learn how much more there is to life than doing good works, visiting with friends and family, and working to impove the lives of the tenants of the estate her husband owned. Eve's jealousy and distrust gradually give way to the kind of love one thrills to read. And Alex's desire to better himself without giving way to bitterness is just what this reader wants in a man.