Author: Kate Hewitt
Line: Mills and Boon Modern/Harlequin Presents
Release month: UK: Oct 2010 USA: NOV 2010
The S-Factor: Sexy
When blue blood turns bad...
Illegitimacy scandal rocks Balfour legacy. Last night there was only one place to see and be seen at - the Balfour Charity Ball. But despite the glitz and the glamour, all was not as it seemed. Behind the scenes, Olivia Balfour and her scandalous twin Bella were locked in a battle over a shocking discovery - their late mother, socialite Alexandra Balfour, had conceived their sister Zoe during an illicit affair! The beautiful Balfour twins were witnessed in the midst of a cat-fight...Were they ever going to tell their little sister, girl-about-town Zoe, the devastating revelation...? There is no Balfour blood running through Zoe Balfour's veins!
The Balfour name might be synonymous with glamour and style. But this is the second illegitimate family member to be outed in as many months. It seems this dynasty is rotten to its core. Now Balfour is just a by-word for disgrace and scandal! Such behavior at this commemorative ball can only lead us to conclude that the Balfour twins are following in their mother's distinctly uncertain footsteps. Is it too late to stop the rot? We challenge Oscar Balfour, the proud patriarch of this crumbling family: wake up and smell the scandal!
Author Kate Hewitt has written an incredible addition to The Balfour Legacy series with Zoe's Lesson, and what a lesson Zoe learned.
Shocking didn't even describe the Balfour Charity ball when Zoe's twin sisters discovered a secret, that their sister Zoe wasn't a Balfour and their mother had an affair because her journal had been found. Even though Oscar Balfour had suspected Zoe wasn't his, he loved her like his own. When the gossip magazines got hold of the information Zoe was devastated and at her father's suggestion she went to New York to seek out her father, only to be turned away again.
Zoe was known for her poor grades in school and for being a spoiled little rich girl with no ambitions and her love of partying. Now she was on her own in New York staying at the Balfour apartment and had just been rejected by the man she was sure was her father. Facing reality was not in Zoe's vocabulary as she been running for most of her life. Being in this glitzy city she met up with friends at a gallery exhibition and charity party and that's when she met Max Monroe, one of the events supporters.
And then Zoe spotted a tall, dark and handsome man leaning up against a pillar, looking bored. There was something about him that drew her to him, especially after being reminded by an old classmate about her family scandal and Zoe was prepared to have a good time that evening. However, what she didn't know about this man was that he had a sight problem and had been diagnosed recently and would eventually become blind. She could feel something that drew her to him and she ended up leaving with Max, something she didn't normally do, but life for Zoe had not proved be to be normal. Especially when learning the man she so dearly loved all of her twenty six years was not her father. She felt reckless and ended staying the night with Max, making love, actually feeling something for him, only to be rejected the next morning and sent away.
Was Max crazy? He actually felt something he didn't normally feel tenderness, warmth while making love to Zoe. However, because of his loss of sight, because he knew he could never be able to have a relationship with a woman because someday he would be blind, better to end it now and send her away. However, life has away of playing tricks on people and it sure hit the mark when weeks later Zoe realized she was pregnant with Max's baby. Talk about a shock, especially for Max. As for Zoe, she was determined to have this child and make sure he or she knew their father so she told Max.
Zoe was tired of rejection especially by the press, her new found father and Max. She was determined to be useful, determined to raise and love her child with or without Max. However, when Max finally came to terms with becoming a father, hearing the babies heart beat, and wanting to celebrate it gave Zoe hope. Then he invited Zoe to spend sometime with him in the Hampton's with days spent in frustration for both of them with a roller coaster ending!
Their getting to know each other was painful to read because I just knew Zoe was going to fall hard for Max and that doesn't even describe it! As for Max, I could feel his pain so much more because he knew he would never measure up because one day his life would be thrown into darkness. It was hard to feel pity for this stubborn man, who harbored some secrets as to why he was afraid to be blind and I also wondered if Zoe would ever learn the truth and be able to accept it? Her father's parting words when she left England were "you're a lot stronger than you realize, Zoe." And those words proved to be right.
In anger they parted even though they loved each other. Talk about an emotional scene on the beach when harsh words were exchanged and the truth revealed. However, Kate Hewitt's character Zoe after a lot of soul searching grew up and became that strong young woman. Strong enough to leave the man she loved and return home to England and the Balfour family she loved. On her own and with a new determination to make something of herself, to become a mother and guide her child not to make the same mistakes she had, I loved her strength of character and was sure in the end, she would get that happy ending.
As for Max it took him a little longer because he had a lot of baggage to wade through, his past, the guilt and what his future would hold being blind. However, their love for each other won and Zoe and Max got their happy ending with both of them in the process, learning many "lessons".