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Guest Review: HEART OF A GENTLEMAN by Charlotte Brentwood


Can love conquer his past? John Barrington is a man haunted by his past deeds. Following a life marked by tragedy and self-imposed isolation, he is quite sure he is unlovable. Now banished to an unknown village, he has no intention of forming ties. Except perhaps with his neighbor, the owner of the grand estate of Willowbridge. When he finally meets the man, he’s sure he’ll be able to enjoy more of the lifestyle he is used to. Enter Lady Helena Davenport, the heiress of Willowbridge – as long as she fulfills certain conditions laid out in her father’s will. She is devoted to the people of Mulberry and serves them with unwavering enthusiasm. Her first impressions of John are far from ideal, and despite her attraction to him she points out his flaws and challenges him to act as an honorable gentleman ought. At first, John is offended by this dressing down, but then, with Helena’s influence, he begins to reform himself into the kind of man he always should have been. As trials beset Helena, and Willowbridge slips from her grasp, can John step up and become the hero she needs – both to save her estate and win her heart? And will he finally face up to what he has done, and sacrifice his future in order to make amends?



“I love you, John.” It was the only time in his life he’d heard that sweet utterance. Those four little words were to be the making and undoing of John Barrington: the source of his greatest happiness and deepest sorrows.

GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose

Reforming a rake, a true rake, that is, as a hero in a romance story can be a tricky undertaking, but what a romance it is when the man becomes the hero for the love of a worthy woman. I’ve had my eye on Charlotte Brentwood’s "Hearts of Amberley" series since the first book release. I chose to jump in with Heart of a Gentleman, the third connected book to the series. My instinct that this would have a well-written historical backdrop, complex and fascinating characters and an engaging slow burn romance turned out to be spot on.


Heart of a Gentleman did a really good job of establishing that John was a flawed man who was deeply wounded by an early betrayal in love, went on to become an uncaring profligate, and now he’s hit rock bottom. Brentwood wrote him as not easily reformed, and he must grow into a man of worth.  I was impressed that she didn’t bring it along too easily and quickly.  


As to Helena, she’s a good-hearted do-gooder and generous to those in need, but she’s as prickly as it gets to John. I wasn’t fond of her at first because at their meetups in the early days, he really gave her no reason to behave the way she did, and she knew it. Unwelcome attraction and suspicion that she’s got him pegged were all she had to go on.  Turns out…well, he had some work to do on his tarnished character.


This pair was believable and engaging because of their flaws and vulnerabilities on their hard road to romance. The whole book was about them getting there, and it was right up to the end whether they could be together. John’s admitting the truths of his past and seeking restitution for his past evils are as much an impediment as his old rakish ways when it comes to a good woman like Helena.  

Now, Helena’s cousin and his wife—how I enjoyed loathing them. I just wanted them to get back in their carriage and go away, and I was cheering Helena on to trounce them by finding a way to keep her family estate.


All in all, this was an emotionally charged, tender villain-to-hero romance that I can wholeheartedly recommend. I look forward to reading the two earlier books in the series and encountering some of the characters. Sweet historical romance fans, check this series out.



A bookworm and scribbler for as long as she can remember, Charlotte Brentwood always dreamed of sharing her stories with the world. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand and loves exploring her beautiful surroundings. Her “day job” was in digital marketing, but she is currently a stay-at-home mother to two tiny tyrants and married to her real-life hero.


She is a member of the Auckland chapter of RWNZ. You can connect with Charlotte via her Website.



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