The Survivors’ Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, for one of them, striking a most unusual bargain will change his life forever.…
Ralph Stockwood prides himself on being a leader, but when he convinced his friends to fight in the Napoleonic Wars, he never envisioned being the sole survivor. Racked with guilt over their deaths, Ralph must move on...and find a wife so as to secure an heir to his family’s title and fortune.
Since her Seasons in London ended in disaster, Chloe Muirhead is resigned to spinsterhood. Driven by the need to escape her family, she takes refuge at the home of her mother’s godmother, where she meets Ralph. He needs a wife. She wants a husband. So Chloe makes an outrageous suggestion: Strike a bargain and get married. One condition: Ralph has to promise that he will never take her back to London. But circumstances change. And to Ralph, it was only a promise. AMAZON 4 STAR
A really good story with an interesting, different, plot. I've read several of the stories in the Survivor's Club Series and this one didn't disappoint. I liked both of the M.C.'s, they each approached life differently. The book blurb only gives a hint of how turbulent things are about to get. Each day is a struggle for Ralph, he's fighting to put one foot in front of the other. He has crushed every emotion that he can, hiding behind a blank mask. The only people who see behind that mask are the other Survivor's Club members. These are the ones who know and have been there for each other when it comes to recovering from what they have been through in the war. The emotions get pretty intense at times.
Chloe had been through some tough Seasons in society and through no fault of her own has been humiliated and ostracized. She considers herself ineligible for marriage because of rumor and slander. She ran after the third time and wants nothing to do with the ton. But now, she's through running when she sees an opportunity and she runs with IT. The bargain is a pretty cold one and even after they marry, it stays that way for quite a while. Both of them get what they want, kind of.
Chloe is not quite the timid, little mouse that she appears to be but she does know how to fade into the background when she needs to. At other times she shows a strength that maybe even she didn't know she had. Ralph begins to see that Chloe, even when terrified had changed her ways. She would stiffen her back, lift her chin and march right through whatever it was. Even while Ralph begins to admire her for that, he also resents that about her too. She stirs up feelings, makes him want to run and just be left alone. None of that is a good thing for a marriage of course and causes all kind of problems for them. He runs hot and cold with Chloe.
The other people in the story were good ones and added to the story.
It's a long, hard fight to a HEA for Ralph and Chloe but they will get there. In the end.