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Trial by Desire    by Courtney Milan order for
Trial by Desire
by Courtney Milan
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Three years ago, Ned Carhart walked out on his wife, Lady Kate, after a few months marriage. Ned was immature at the time and thought himself and Kate too young to be married. Ned left for China on business for his cousin and also to do some soul searching. He was dealing with an inner battle that Kate knew nothing about, and even though he loved her, he knew he was not being fair to her. Ned always felt that he was never man enough for Kate and fell short of her expectations. Kate was hurt, but tried to move on with her life. She became involved with women's rights, especially cases that involved abuse.

Now Ned has returned and he wants to be a good husband to Kate. Kate still loves him, but rejects his need to reconcile because she finds it hard to trust him again. Kate also feels that, with Ned home he will interfere with her work. Kate has just helped Lady Laura Blakely leave her abusive husband Alex, who is Ned's good friend. Kate has hidden Laura and her infant son in a deserted cottage not far from her property, Berkswift. Not knowing that Alex is abusive, Ned may side with him, and try to prove Lady Laura crazy and give Alex full control. Kate however has seen the bruises on Laura's body and vows to help her in any way she can.

After following up on leads, Alex is drawn to Kate and realizes she is responsible for Laura's disappearance. He vows to make her pay. Kate decides to trust Ned and tells him of her actions. He believes Lady Laura would speak the truth, and when he later finds Alex threatening Kate, knows something must be done. They begin to set a trap for Alex to prove he has been fooling the law. While trying to get justice for Lady Blakely, Kate and Ned work on healing their own fragile marriage. When Kate learns the reason behind Ned's leaving, she sets out to prove to him that he is after all her own knight in shiny armour.

Trial by Desire is a romantic story of the ties that bind. Even though Ned had flaws and made mistakes, he proved he could be a hero to Kate.

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