Adam Darshan Lawford, the Duke of Ashton, is the hero of Loving a Lost Lord and looking conventional is his goal and his protection. Adam’s father was a British administrator in India, and distantly in line for the Ashton title. At that time, there were very few British women in India, so not surprisingly; many British officials took Indian wives. Adam is ten and living happily in India with his parents when his father inherits the dukedom and promptly dies, leaving Adam as the new duke.
Literally wrenched from his mother’s arms, Adam is packed off to England to be raised as a proper British gentleman. He becomes the first student of the Westerfield Academy when Lady Agnes Westerfield meets the young mixed blood duke, and sees a miserable small boy who needs love.
Adam grows into a consummate aristocrat, responsible, courteous, and a bit of an enigma even to his closest friends. Then the steamboat he has been working on with a team of Scottish engineers explodes. Adam Lawford, the Duke of Ashton, is missing and presumed dead.
But is he???
Mariah Clarke had an unconventional upbringing as the daughter of a charming gambler who moved from one house party to the next. Mariah has become very adaptable, but she yearns for a home of her own. Her wishes are granted when her father wins a comfortable estate in far northern Cumberland. As soon as they’ve settled in, her father heads south to reestablish contact with his long–estranged family—and is killed in a coach robbery.
Mariah is left alone in the world, with the former owner of her estate trying to coerce her into marrying him, which will place her life and property in his unreliable hands. Afraid that in a moment of weakness she’ll say yes (he’s not at all bad looking), she invents an imaginary husband—and finds a mysterious dark man rolling onto the beach of her estate, more dead than alive. A man without a memory—who is quite charmed by the idea that this lovely young woman is his wife.
Well written characters abound in this story by Mary Jo Putney, but the plot is a little slow out of the gate and doesn't pick up much speed throughout the rest of the story. I love Ms. Putney's books, but this particular book was very hard for me to finish, but after a couple of starts, I did finish the story, a little disappointed but anticipating Ms. Putney's next release.