Book 4 in this series is by far the most emotional, heart-wrenching story of a lost love and the long journey back from the brink of despair. Lord Hawkridge has been struggling for 10 years to bring his estates back from the ruin that his father and uncle left him with. The debts he inherits are astronomical and at 18 years old he has to give up everything, including the girl he loves because it will be years or never before his estates will be back in the black. He is now 28 and has paid off at least half of the debt in the ensuing 10 years. He is looking for investors for a project that will finally pay off the debts and give his mother the life she lost long ago. He has sold everything he can, rented out his entailed properties and he is still living the life of a pauper. He refuses all charity and is determined to succeed on his own. His only regret is leaving behind the love of his life. She was not Quality, just a poor beautiful girl that he loved with all his heart. He was convinced by his mother that he could not marry a poor girl who was not a Lady. He has missed her every day of the past ten years.
Faith Digby is the daughter of a Textile merchant who is very rich. Her family was not always wealthy, but her father turned around a family business that was part of his wife's dowry. Now Faith is a lovely lady who has good friends, parents that love her and a 10-year-old daughter. She has only been in love once and has never forgotten him and even if she won't admit out loud that she has never stopped loving the scoundrel who took her virginity and left her the next day.
Faith is part owner of The St Giles School for Girls and helps her best friend Dahlia with the daily running of the place. Dahlia's new husband is the half-brother of Lord Hawkrige who happens to be the man who broke her heart 10 years ago. Faith is afraid that Hawk will find out about his daughter and take her away from her.
Will Hawk be able to get to know his daughter and convince the love of his life that he is sorry for all the heartache he has caused?
This story was both very sad and heart-warming at the same time. Hawk is a man who was dealt a bad hand when he was young and paid for it for ten years. If anyone deserves a HAE it is Hawk. I will admit that I cried reading this one. Another must read in this series. I absolutely recommend Erica's books!!