Wealthy American industrialist Aubrey Nelson has invited the Duke and Duchess of Westbrook to visit his family’s Newport seaside “cottage” for the summer. With his parents’ departure from New York delayed, Aubrey’s mother sends him ahead to oversee preparations for their guests. But when he arrives, he’s surprised to find the house and staff in disarray …
With much to do and little time, Aubrey comes to rely on the housekeeper, a lovely young Irish woman named Maeve Brown. And when he also finds himself confiding in Maeve about more personal matters, he tells himself it’s merely their close proximity that draws him to the compassionate, hard-working beauty. Yet when he suspects Maeve is in danger, Aubrey realizes his feelings for her have grown much deeper than they should have. For what will his mother, who dreams of a society match for her only son, have to say when she arrives to discover he’s lost his heart to a girl of the working class? 

Titles in the Gilded series include — Duchess by Deception – Deceived by Desire – 

Title:  Deceived by Desire
Series:  Gilded #2
Author:  Marie Force
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  August 27, 2019
Publisher:  Kensington Books – Zebra
My Rating:  4 stars

Secrets and lies, big or small, eventually come to the surface.  It’s how we deal with those things that define us as humans.  For Maeve, an Irish woman working at the Nelson family’s Newport summer home her job is an escape from a troubled past in Ireland.  Her husband has died, and some may try to convince others that his death was no accident.  She’s always waiting for her past to show up on her doorstep – and eventually, it will.  What also shows up is one of Nelson’s sons, Aubrey, here to oversee the summer house readiness for Royal visitors only to discover that due to his mother’s attitude toward her help, almost nothing has been done and practically no one is in residence except for Maeve.  This is when Aubrey allows his own little lie to come into play allowing Maeve to believe he’s part of the staff and not a Nelson himself.

Lust will soon turn to love as Aubrey and Maeve work to put the summer house in order before the arrival of his family and their company.  What also arrives is that trouble from Maeve’s past.  Aubrey convinces Maeve to marry him, at last getting all of their secrets out in the open.  He knows full well that his family, particularly his mother, will be furious at their marriage.  She understands far better than Aubrey what the scandalous risk they would be taking to marry when each is from another “class”.  Yet, their love is strong enough for the challenge – and it will be a challenge before finding their happy ending.

DECEIVED BY DESIRE is an engaging story that shines a light on class differences in a bygone age, and the timeless reality of spouse abuse.  I was easily swept into the lives of Aubrey and Maeve even though I have not (yet) read the first story of this series.  There are tears, tensions, laughter, acceptance, and enough love to get through all of that and more in this story.  If you love a good Historical Romance, closer to modern times, then you’d enjoy DECEIVED BY DESIRE.  At a time when the country and people’s attitudes are changing, this is a good reflective look at what was once a way of life for many people.  We also get to catch up with people from the first book of the Gilded series.  I enjoyed myself, and I’m certainly looking forward to more.

*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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