Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries, Deborah Martin
Series: Wales Series #1
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: June 28th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
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The first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband’s driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mourned the loss of her love.
The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different—bolder, harder, and convinced that she’d betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust—to the love they once shared and would have to find again?
Juliana St. Albans is considered a blue-stocking. Her and her family reside in Wales but are English. She hears about a meeting of the Sons of Wales which was a group of men who were opposing the English and the loss of the Welsh language among many other things. The speaker of the group that night was Rhys Vaughan who is the son of a local squire. Rhys’s father had gambled against Juliana’s father and had lost their family estate because of it. Dressed as a lady’s maid she attends the Sons of Wales meeting and can’t help but become completely infatuated with Rhys Vaughan. He is compelling and a wonderful speaker as well as a gorgeous man.
Rhys stops Juliana after the meeting as he’s intrigued by her as well. When he finds out who she really is he heads to her house to speak with her father as he’s just positive the father sent her to be a spy. He’s very wrong and Juliana gets into some serious trouble. As she’s confined to her room for a two-week period Rhys climbs a tree and visits her. Juliana should hate him for getting her into trouble but she just can’t. They become friends and Rhys ends up visiting every night. They talk about books and poetry and soon find themselves in love. They plan to elope, which they do, but instead of fleeing afterward as they had planned they get separated and Rhys is impressed into the English Navy.
Now it’s six years later and Juliana believes Rhys is dead. He still has her heart but she also wants a family. At her betrothal dinner Rhys shows up and Juliana is thrilled but completely shocked. Of course when he starts flinging accusations at her that she knows aren’t true she finds she must clear the air. While she’s incredibly mad at her husband she’s so happy he’s home. If only he could trust that what she tells him is the truth they could be happy once again. But Rhys had a very long time in the Navy to think about Juliana’s involvement in his impressment and he’s positive that it was all her idea. Will they ever work through the lies and find the love they once shared for each other?
This was a really good story. I liked so many things about it. First and foremost were Rhys and Juliana. While I was pissed at Rhys’s attitude for a lot of the book I was still impressed with how he survived all the years in the Navy and then in America. Even as mad as he was at Juliana all those years he truly never stopped loving her and of course Juliana waited for him for years and years, hoping he would return to her.
The person behind it all made me incredibly angry. He might have told himself that he was doing what he did for his sister but it was all purely selfish and I disliked him intensely. The fact that he kept lying and lying straight to Juliana’s face made me want to slap him on numerous occasions. Then there was his involvement with her lady’s maid and wow – what a bastard.
Anyway, the story was a really good one that I enjoyed reading. This is a reissue of the original that was published in 1995 so you might have read it way back when. If you haven’t read it you should and if you have, you should read it again.
Rating: 4 out of 5