Review: The Lady He Longed For (Scandals of Scarcliffe Hall #3) by Gemma Blackwood


Print Length: 247 pages
Publisher: Gemma Blackwood (June 13, 2019)

From  A brooding lord encounters his widowed childhood sweetheart – and they uncover a secret that could change everything…

Lord Jonathan Hartley’s first love left him a broken man. Now that Isabella is back, widowed, wounded and more lovely than ever, the last thing he wants to do is revisit the past.

But Isabella has a way of digging up all the secrets he thought he had buried. His undimmed love for the tragic heiress is only one of them.

If Jonathan wants to find happiness again, he must first conquer his demons – and then, his enemies.

Isabella, the widowed Countess of Streatham, knows she belongs in Jonathan’s arms. But she is no longer the naïve debutante who believed in true love, and marriage brought her pain she vowed never to endure again.

Jonathan abandoned her once, and if he wants her forgiveness, she will make him fight for it.

Whether she falls in love again is quite a different question.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is another of those clean reads that this author is known for. And while this book does take place alongside the others in the series, you do not need to have to have read them in order to enjoy this one. The Lady He Longed For was an interesting story with some familiar characters (as we get to touch base with both couples from the first two stories as well as a few other side characters). 

However, I felt like this one was missing something. 

To begin with, it seemed like Jonathan and Isabella were entirely way too eager to forgive one another. And yes, I understand they were older and wiser then, but (especially where Jonathan in concerned), why was it so easy for him to accept her word when they are older, but not when they were younger? I also wish there had been more of them when they were younger, we got to see their love story, but I would have also liked to have seen their breakup as I feel that would have given us more insight into their relationship. Instead we get a he said/she said sort of thing with some mixed details thrown in, but it wasn't enough (for me) to find their adult forgiveness justified. Especially not when you consider Isabella's inner musing and how often she declared to herself (and her friends, and even Jonathan) that she would never marry again. And again, I understand why she felt that way, but what I don't understand is why she never once thought the problem of her first marriage was with her husband and not her. 

Then you add in certain threads from prior books (which again you don't have to have read in order to understand the deception), but it seemed like instead of tying up one loose end in this book and the final one in the last book, the author choose to do both at once - which lead to a lot more drama than I felt was needed. 

Overall, however, I will keep reading more from this author because even when certain stories are a miss with me, I still enjoy her writing. 

                                                   The Lady He Longed For is available from
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