Family secrets, an unlikely alliance—and a love neither expected…

After his parents’ sudden death, Daniel Frith, Viscount Whitfield, is struggling to unravel a web of chaotic family records. He is astonished to learn his father’s will contains a mysterious legacy: a house left to a complete stranger. He knows nothing about the beautiful Penelope Pendleton and he’s not sure he wants to…until she turns out to be a whiz at all those nasty tasks involved in estate administration…

Penelope has no idea why Rose Cottage was left to her. But it’s a godsend after her brother’s reckless actions disgraced her family. She had planned to stay out of Viscount Whitfield’s way, not grow ever closer to him. But when they discover how entwined their families really are, Daniel and Penelope must collaborate to avoid a scandal that reaches much higher than they could have guessed…

Titles in The Way To A Lord’s Heart series include —  Brave New Earl – A Lord Apart – How to Cross A Marquess

Title:  A Lord Apart
Series:  The Way To A Lord’s Heart #2
Author:  Jane Ashford
Genre:  Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Published:  March 26, 2019
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 4 stars

A LORD APART brings us an intriguing mystery of why a stranger has been bequeathed a cottage on Viscount Whitfield’s property… and a few other surprises as well.  This is the second story in Ms. Ashford’s The Way To a Lord’s Heart series, and although there are a few connections (one if not true matchmaking gentleman, then at least a romantic instigator) nothing that would leave a reader lost or wondering what is going on.  I am a reader who needs to start at the beginning of any series, but if you aren’t then you’ll find an enjoyable romance… and might be a bit tempted to go back for the first story.

The surprising inheritance of Rose Cottage couldn’t have happened at a better moment for Penelope.  Due to her brother’s actions, she is facing not only danger but having to leave her former life behind.  She has no idea of who gave or why they gifted her this new home, yet she is grateful beyond words for the safe haven.

Daniel’s parents were killed in a shipwreck leaving him a new title, a stranger living on his estate, a house full of unorganized paperwork and more than a few mysteries to unravel – the main one being who in the world is Penelope and why was she given Rose Cottage.

In trying to figure out why she now occupies Rose Cottage, Daniel discovers that Penelope once helped her father manage his estates and she is, in fact, quite good with paper organizing.  As they work their way through untold years of dusty, old papers they begin to acknowledge an attraction between them… as well as some more than curious facts starting to appear in those old papers.  Now it’s up to this couple to face down danger together, solve a few mysteries and fall in love along the way.

I enjoyed my time with A LORD APART.  It’s not a fast-paced romance, while there are dangers and several mysteries to be untangled it certainly is a slower story than I’m used to from Ms. Ashford.  That does not mean that it’s not an enjoyable read, it definitely is, simply a pace that I wasn’t expecting.  Both Daniel and Penelope have to face family issues, ones that even to this day affect their lives.  Their falling in love was a simmering romance, one that has its own pace and destination.  My heart broke for them both, in different ways, and their blossoming love is also helping to heal those parts of their pasts that haunt them.  If you enjoy Historical Romance, then I would not hesitate to recommend this story or this series.  You’ll discover an interesting couple, some intriguing mysteries to solve and a love worth waiting for.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

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