Neville Wyatt, the Earl of Kilbourne, was getting married to his childhood friend and distant cousin, Lauren Edgeworth. As the ton gathered to celebrate the happy event, something unexpected occurred. Instead of the radiant bride, a shabbily dressed young woman walked down the aisle. Completely shocked by the turn of events, the young earl could only stare in disbelief - at the face of his wartime bride, thought to be dead these past two years!
Thus begins the tale of One Night for Love by Mary Balogh. This lovely tale depicts the strength and courage of two star-crossed lovers who overcome many obstacles to keep their love.
Lily Doyle, daughter of Neville’s sergeant, was a lovely young girl who had grown into a stunning young woman. As her friend and confidant, Neville wished that circumstances were different, but they were worlds apart in social rank and he knew his duty. When war changes things, Neville offers Lily the protection of his name and title, believing that their love would conquer the barriers. When she is struck down and reported to be killed, he returns home, never telling a soul about his wartime bride. He cannot believe that she has been returned to him.
Lily, while uneducated, has seen enough of the world to know that she is completely inadequate as his wife. She understands that while she has traveled around the world with her father, she has been sadly lacking in formal education and society’s rules. How can she ever begin to take on the duties as Countess of Kilbourne?
This story is wonderful. It is full of emotion and is written beautifully. I found it quite by accident and was immediately drawn into the story of these two sensitive people. It is a double bonus for any readers of Ms. Balogh’s current “Slightly” series, as it serves as the prequel to Lauren Edgeworth’s marriage to her own hero. Lily and Neville have such passion and depth of feeling for each other. It is so interesting to see the lengths that they will go to, all to insure the other’s happiness.