Tempting Fate by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Goode Girls #4
Publisher: Oliver-Heber Books
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Genres: Historical Romance
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Disfigured in fighting pits as a lad, Gabriel Sauvageau has lived his entire life without the touch of a woman. As the brains and brawn behind London’s most ferocious smuggling syndicate, he knows he doesn’t deserve shy, bespectacled Felicity Goode. But that doesn’t stop him from watching her. Guarding her.
Wondering if her gentle touch would soothe his savage soul.
Though she wiles away hours immersed in the pages of romance novels, shy and anxious Felicity Goode has vowed never to become a bride. How can she share a life—not to mention a bed—with a man if she can’t bring herself to share a simple conversation without trembling and stuttering? Once news of her obscene inheritance circulates through the ton, she is barraged not only by a slew of suitors, but also several distressing threats against her life.
What she needs is a bodyguard.
The large, scarred ruffian she finds on her stoop is exactly what she has been looking for.
So why does his presence make her tremble in ways that have nothing to do with fear?
Felicity is the youngest of four girls. Her parents have died and her siblings have married. She is now not only in charge of her household, she’s in charge of her father’s fortune. His will specifies it is all hers, including his shipping business, if she marries a title – but only if it’s a Viscount or higher. (He’s not asking for much, really.) Unfortunately, Felicity isn’t the type to care about titles – she’s a quiet, kind, giving person who wants to work in her garden and take care of those she loves.
When Felicity is attacked she puts an advertisement in the paper looking for men who can be her personal protection. She finds Gareth Severand in her yard and brings him in for an interview. When Gareth finds out why she needs protection, he immediately wants the position. Felicity hires him and moves him into her house.
Gareth is actually named Gabriel Savageau. He and his brother Raphael ran a notorious smuggling ring until they decided to get out of the business. Both Raphael and Gabriel then faked their own deaths. Raphael is married to Mercy, Felicity’s sister. The first time Gabriel saw Felicity he knew she was his, but at the time his face was disfigured. He has since had reconstructive surgery and was only at Felicity’s house to have one last look at her before he left the country. Obviously, he gets waylaid and is more than happy to protect her from whomever is out to hurt her.
Gareth and Felicity work to find out who keeps attacking Felicity and why. Gareth believes it is his old second in command, Marco, out to get Felicity to get to Gabriel. But there are other forces at work and many secrets being hidden from Felicity and Gareth.
I really enjoyed this story. I hadn’t read the first three books in this series, so I wasn’t sure if this was “standalone” enough for me to fall in. Luckily for me, it was, and I was able to enjoy the story without feeling like I was left in the dark about some things.
I really enjoyed Felicity in this story. Even though she’s pretty low-key, she stands up for what she believes in and is fiercely loyal to those she loves. She had her hang-up, but she didn’t let them take over her life and rule it.
Gabriel was not someone I thought I would enjoy as a hero, but he worked for me. He loved Felicity and was willing to do what needed to be done, and change what needed to change in order to be with her. Luckily for him, he didn’t need to change that much.
Overall it was a great story. Byrne added a twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting and that was a nice surprise. In the end I was quite happy I read the book.
Rating: 4 out of 5