From Ruin to Riches by Louise Allen

From Ruin to RichesFrom Ruin to Riches by Louise Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's always a inner reader anticipation when one of your favorite author's books are coming out. For me it's always a joy to curl up with an Louise Allen story as she gives the reader just the right amount of angst, joy, laughter, heartache and love to keep one up well into the night!
Julia Prior is on the run. Ruined by an elopement, Julia stumbles upon a sick man - William Hadfield, Lord Dereham who has a proposal that will be the salvation for her. Will is getting sicker each day and see Julia has the key to saving his estate for his immature heir and cousin when he's gone.
Three years pass and far from dying, Will has finally beat his illness and is finally coming home to claim his life back and finally learn who is wife truly is. Only there's alot of secrets before either can truly know the other...

I adore the Marriage of Convenience theme and this was very strongly character driven with both Will and Julia having alot of work in front of them when Will returns.

Will is a force. A man who’s always in charge, a true master of his domain. Being ill took the wind out of his sails but when he got better, he wanted to take life back by the horns. He almost walks in blind back into Julia’s life, not seeing the effect it would have on not only his life but Julia’s who has been master of the estate since he left. There’s a huge tug and pull between Will and Julia. It’s not easy for Will as he hates being out of control and told lies. These are emotional scars left from his trouble childhood. It’s wonderful to see each small step Will and Julia take to get to know one another and find common ground in running the estate and their marriage.
There were many things I appreciated in this story; one was Will staying true to Julia in the three years he was away. Even if he didn’t “really” know her, she still left her light on him and he only wanted her. The sex is also a stepping-stone for the couple and how they’re able to reveal one scar after another. At times I wanted Will to stop being such an alpha male. (Blah!) He became a human being and so loveable and true. He didn’t need someone else to point out the truth about Julia’s past but figure it out himself! Each piece falling into place as he fell in love with Julia.

Julia was a no-nonsense heroine. She was blinded by a rake and suppose love. This makes her leery of ever giving her heart again. Julia finds comfort and a haven at the King’s Acre estate from her pain. It takes a lot of time for Julia to revel her own scars to Will. In the scheme of the story, Allen made it all work. I do think the biggest secret could have been shown earlier, but it was a open to get rid of Julia’s evil family members and the man who tried to ruin her so I can’t complain to much. When things look bad, Julia takes the bull by the horns and takes things in better stride as she has to make her stand and show Will to be his equal.
I really liked Julia, she always keep a calmed head, even when faced with a lot of surprises like Will being alive. Coming face to face with Will’s troublemaker ex-fiancĂ©e and running the estate. She was a great mix of being vulnerable while having a backbone of steel.
There’s no instant love or instant des-ex-machine for this couple. It takes time as they get to know one another and it started with the small things and not the big things. It was beautiful how they learn to trust in one another in through that trust and the balm on their old scars, love is able to fully blossom.

From Ruin to Riches was another great read from Louise Allen for me. She crafted such a wonderfully character driven story that it was well worth the lack of sleep!


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