THE REVENGE OF LORD EBERLIN by Julia London
The Revenge of Lord Eberlin by Julia London
The Secrets of Hadley Green, Book 3
Reviewed by Vanessa
Count Eberlin aka Tobin Scott has returned to Hadley Green seeking vengeance for a wrong that was committed against his family fifteen years before. Tobin had fought against the boundaries of his low birth and gained riches dealing in arms. He soon realized that what the English would truly respect is a title, so he bought one. All of Tobin’s vengeance is placed upon the Ashwood estate and the countess of said estate. His father was taken to the gallows based upon the word of the then eight year old, Lily Boudine, and Tobin means to make her pay for the loss of his family!
Lily Boudine has newly inherited a title and estate that she associates with bad memories, ones that led to her becoming an orphan once again. When people she cared about are threatened with hanging, Lily is forced to divulge what she saw the night that the family jewels went missing. She chose to return to Ashwood and see about restoring the estate as well as finding some happiness in her life now. However, her efforts are thwarted by the return of the man whom she had thought of as a friend. Lily is shocked to discover that he holds her in contempt and seeks to destroy Ashwood as well as her. Soon Lily wants to work at clearing all parties concerned and discovering the whereabouts of the jewels to save Ashwood. Will Tobin and Lily be able to obtain exoneration for his father, and develop a HEA when society just may shun them for their thwarting of their duties and blurring of societal lines?
Julia London has done it again! She has authored a story that on the surface seems a bit fluffy, but there are hidden depths below if you only search for them. I truly understood how a young Tobin would feel that all his hate and vengeance should be directed at those that destroyed his happy family. He suffered as well for all of that and some of his suffering is explored throughout The Revenge of Lord Eberlin. However, Lily’s position was made perfectly clear as well. She has decided that she longs for her own family, happiness, and security in her life as well, and she may be able to obtain it at Ashwood. I so felt that Tobin and Lily could have been the doomed lovers of their shared pasts in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin if they didn’t give up some things that they thought at the time were so important. However, by giving up what they truly didn’t care about in the end, they could obtain their ultimate goal.
I like that Lily actually stood up to Tobin in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin and that she didn’t first become enamored of him. The weakness that Tobin inadvertently showed to Lily could have been exploited by her, but instead she offers to support him and become something that he could cling to as well. Both Tobin and Lily set out to entrap the other in their plans, but instead they only tangled themselves up in their traps.
I did not completely agree with Tobin’s blaming of Lily for her actions when she was an eight year old in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin, but I think at the time he only saw things in black and white. As he uncovered more pieces of the puzzle, Tobin soon realized that life is full of areas of gray as well. Yet at the same time, his need for vengeance kept him on track of reaching his ultimate goal. It helped him develop his mantra, “Rise up. Press on. Don’t think overmuch. Don’t feel.” I felt that if Tobin didn’t have that, then he probably would have eventually given up a long time ago. The need for revenge gave him something to strive for and make right in his life in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin.
Lily seemed to be more drawn to the Tobin of yesterday in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin, rather than this dark figure that is seeking her destruction. She seemed to be able to see below Tobin’s surface, and she just wanted to help him heal as well. Tobin’s tender feelings were mired in mud and were not easily accessible to any other than his surviving sister and niece. However, some cracks seem to develop as a result of Lily, and they begin to grow out of that desolate area in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin
There were some very enjoyable secondary characters in The Revenge of Lord Eberlin, and I enjoyed my time spent in Hadley Green. It would have been more believable to have had Lily’s relationship with one of the secondary characters develop within the pages of The Revenge of Lord Eberlin instead of off the pages over a couple of cups of tea.
I truly believed in Tobin’s love for Lily in the end of The Revenge of Lord Eberlin and what he did for her to prove it was very sweet and endearing. I liked that he was willing to set aside what he thought was so important to him and she was as well. However, I felt that earlier on in the story of The Revenge of Lord Eberlin, she didn’t care much for that anyway. It was as though both Tobin and Lily had to give some in order to get some.
There were questions left unanswered in the end of The Revenge of Lord Eberlin as well. It was mentioned that her benefactor had disappeared at one point and then at another point that he died. This confused me some, but perhaps I misunderstood. I wanted a more clear-cut answer for her aunt’s death as well. The mysteries will continue in the sequel to The Revenge of Lord Eberlin, and I have to say I don’t like the cliffhanger endings that more and more series books are doing these days. Isn’t it enough that we get that with broadcast television?