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    Old School with lots of angst

    I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. Dearly Beloved by Mary Jo Putney is a re-issue of her 1990 stand-alone novel and has been given a gorgeous new cover. The story is definitely old school and parts of it will not transfer well to todays audience so you need to keep that in mind while reading it. Gervaise Brandelin first meets Diana Lindsay when he drunkenly stumbles in to her bedroom in an inn on the island of Mull and thinking she is the barmaid he had made arrangements with … gets amorous … her screams awaken the inn and her mad vicar father insists they marry on the spot. This being Scotland it happens and angry and resentful Gervaise rapes the drugged and bewildered Diana who is then abandoned by both her new husband and her father. Almost a decade later they meet at a gathering of cyprians, where Gervaise is completely bewitched by the beautiful young courtesan whom he does not recognize as his abandoned wife. A potent stew of passion, deceit, betrayal and a decidedly evil villain create a story that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime. Medium Steam. Publishing Date June 25. 2019 #NetGalley #DearlyBeloved #MaryJoPutney #KensingtonPress #OldSchoolRomance
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    Refreshing re-release by this author.

    A sheltered life in the countryside has left Diana Lindsay restless to see the wider world, for both herself and the son she is raising alone. She cannot marry, but perhaps as a courtesan she will find love and protection despite her painful past. Gathering her courage, she moves to London—and finds herself the city’s most desired woman, as admired for her charm as for her beauty. But it is one man who captivates her—handsome, haunted, and harboring a secret as deep as her own . . . Bound by the sins of his youth, Gervase Brandelin, the Viscount St. Aubyn, has spent his adulthood seeking redemption through service to England. Now a spymaster, he can allow nothing to distract him from his duty. But when he meets Diana, his burdens seem to lift. Though she can never truly be his alone, or can she, their genuine love fills him with hope, until a treacherous deceit—and a deadly enemy—threatens to tear them apart forever. This re-release in digital format of a Mary Jo Putney classic was refreshing. I loved her earlier works and had been disappointed in her newer recent books. Full of intrigue, spies and sexual tension this is one of the better books I have read recently by this author. Ms. Putney's books have always included a lot of historical detail so that did not bother me. Rape no matter the circumstances is never a desirable aspect to any story though. I am glad it received only the brief mention that it did. That being said it was a major aspect to the full story. I was a little confused by the change of names for the heroine though and wondered if this story was going off on a different tangent. I would give this book 4 of 5 stars for storyline and character development. It is a good re-write and re-release. I received a complimentary digital ARC to read. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
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    Strong heroine

    Diana Lindsay has been sheltered all her life.She wants to see the world as she grows more unhappy with her life at present. She wants to see it with her young son that she is raising by herself. Due to a certain circumstance, she cannot marry. Maybe as a courtesan, she will find protection and happiness. Due to a bad experience in her past, a life as a courtesan may be the answer to her problems. She decides to move to London to find her fortune. Her beauty and charm make her sought after by the richest men of the ton. There is a secret that she carries that make her unmarriagable. Gervase Brandelin, the Viscount St. Aubyn, has spent his life trying to overcome a past from when he was young. He is a spymaster, who has his attention on only one thing. He cannot afford for anything to distract him. When he meets Diana, he knows she can never be his completely. Diana and Gervase have secrets that will tear them apart. There is a scene that may be disturbing to some readers. I loved the book and how the characters came together. I received this book from Net galley and Kensington Books for a honest review.
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