In London, the name Lady Chelsea Campion is synonymous with the word scandal. An attempt to elope sent her and her family into seclusion. They live now on the Jersey Islands. She is for the most part content writing love stories. Until one day Chelsea receives a letter informing her that because her brotherís union is still childless, Lord Jerome will inherit the title. Unless Chelsea agrees to marry Jerome, a man many years her senior, her family will be turned out penniless.
After reading the alarming letter Chelsea takes a walk along the beach to gather her thoughts, hoping to come up with an alternative solution for her family. What she finds is a stranger washed ashore. A naked man lying unconscious on her beach! When he wakes not knowing who he is or where he came from an idea forms in Chelseaís mind. Maybe she did find her answer during her walk after all. If she can seduce this stranger and get with child, Chelsea will give the child to her brother and sister-in-law thereby providing the necessary heir. She in turn will not have to marry the despicable Lord Jerome Carruthers. Chelsea reasons that her reputation is already unsalvageable and the stranger will be long gone before she gives birth. The plan is foolproof. Eh...sure it is.
When a Stranger Loves Me is the third novel in the Pembroke Palace series. Our hero is Lord Blake Sinclair, the practical brother, the responsible one. That being the case, when Blake doesnít show up at Pembroke his brothers know something is wrong and begin a search for him. They will be surprised by the brother they find. For in his state, Blake finds the freedom to be who he wants. There are no responsibilities holding back his true self. Nor any to hinder the attachment he forms with Chelsea. Some say there is a fine line between love and hate. This theory is put to the test when Blake discovers Chelseaís plan.
Readers may think the premise of When a Stranger Loves Me suggests a weak storyline. Indeed, the opposite is actually the case. The love that grows between Chelsea and Blake is believable and at times heart wrenching. There is definite chemistry between the two characters. Without a doubt the reader becomes emotionally committed to their story.
This is my first book by this author. I was able to follow the story without having read the first two installments. I will, however, seek out this authorís backlist. When an author can make me laugh and cry I become a devoted fan. Well done, Julianne Maclean!