I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by The Wild Rose Press Genres: Historical Romace
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The story of a betrayal that wasn't. Even so, it still tore two lovers apart for eleven years. On the eve of their wedding, Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed, the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed, in bed with his cousin. Diana, the daughter of a marquess, remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is she was forced to marry Michael's cousin, Leo, and then spent the next eleven years in hell. When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, Michael and Diana must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses the one of their youth.
The Letter by Sandra Owens grabbed my attention from page one and never let up. My heart was broken from all the pain that Michael and Diana had been through over the past ten years and watching the struggle the two went through to reclaim the love they had once had.
Ten years earlier, Michael’s beloved fiancée and cousin, were found in bed together. With his heart and trust destroyed, Michael left and never looked back. Despite proclaiming her innocence, Diana was forced to marry Leo and the next ten years of their marriage were a living hell. Leo physically and mentally abused Diana and their young son leaving many physical and mental scars.
The letter in the book’s title is a letter from Leo to Michael sent after Leo has died. In the letter, Leo boasts of his triumph over Michael by stealing the only woman Michael had ever loved. Leo boasts of breaking Diana’s spirit and destroying her. Realizing he has been a fool, Michael seeks out Diana to try and make things right. He is devastated at the change in the woman he once loved and he is determined to help her regain her spirit. Along the way, he finds himself falling in love with Diana all over again. But can he earn her forgiveness for believing Leo over her all those years ago?
The Letter inspired so many emotions in me – sadness, anger, and joy just to start with. I cried actual tears as Diana revealed just how Leo had abused her. I was impressed with Diana’s determination to protect her son and her own heart. I cheered along with Michael as we watched Diana learn how to be happy again.
Ms. Owens did a remarkable job in describing her characters so they came alive. With Michael and Leo, she created two completely opposite but entirely believable characters. I love that Ms. Owens made the hero and heroine work through their difficulties instead of having Diana just forgive and forget what Michael’s lack of trust did to her life.
The subject of abuse, either physical or mental, is a difficult one and Ms. Owens handled it respectfully but directly. She was able to show how the systematic mental abuse affected Diana and was just as harmful as the physical abuse.
Be warned – you’re going to need some tissues while reading The Letter. But every tear is well worth it. Ms. Owens has done a masterful job of writing a book that will stay in your mind and heart long after you have read the last page.