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I was falsely accused of killing the brother of the man I love, and I was sent to prison…

At eighteen years old, Lucy was sentenced to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. She was charged for killing her employer, who had hired her as a nanny. But she was innocent! Even his brother Domenico, with whom she fell in love, didn’t believe her. While serving time, she lost her father, friends and even her pride. Five years later, she’s finally gotten out of prison. There to welcome her are the media and Domenico! He then takes her to his family mansion. He believes she seduced him and his brother for their wealth, so why is he taking her home?

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Finally, a heroine who insists on her innocence, sadly we are not talking the bed. 3  3

SPOILERS INCLUDED: As a reader of Harlequins, we are expected to set certain logic functions aside, but on occasion you run into a story that just stretches incredulity further than is even remotely feasible. The trial of the heroine does just that. The ASSUMPTION that jewelry was intended for the heroine because it matches her eyes is accepted as EVIDENCE? The writings of a woman diagnosed with postpartum depression is considered truth without actual evidence or a mental evaluation? The testimony of the other SUSPECT is accepted as credible after his alibi is corroborated by ONE witness (and if he has an alibi and wasn't there, how could he possibly testify that she killed him?)? It was said they were romantically involved but a purposed intent is more important that confirming the actual relationship? Her intent was what? To kill her sugar daddy? Why?!? The trial was simply farcical. As JAB said, she was convicted on a lot of circumstantial evidence, and all of the evidence completely questionable! If the evidence was so flimsy that even in his grief, the hero recognized the trial was questionable, there should have been no way a trial of her peers would have been convinced 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' It seemed beyond just family name. It was so bad I have to wonder if there was some cover-up too. But then when it is discovered the jewelry really was intended for the wife and the bodyguard was fired for stalking a maid, no one thought to look at her case again? And then... and then when when they actually go so far as to prove her innocence and that they effectively stole five years of her life through an unjust verdict and our lovers think they have to let each other go, the family doesn't even offer her a hand up gift to get back on her feet? Its really all just ridiculous! The shining light of this story is the heroine who is never so strong as when she is standing her ground insisting she's innocent. Unlike so many other Harlequin heroines who just decide to give up and play along so actually deserve whatever happens to them because they accepted their guilty reputation whether they were not, this heroine even turns down a large settlement rather that lose the right to continue to proclaim her innocence. Its a refreshing change. The heroine alone lifts this story up a notch, but I'm glad I got it cheap on sale. Its not worth full price.

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3.5 stand by your word 4  4

I liked this heroine for standing by her word even when she was cornered and pressured to admit murdering her boss. There was a a lot of circumstantial evidence that nobody, not even the green horn of a sickly lawyer thought to look into. They had the conviction of the boss's wife who had both a diary and claimed that her husband and the heroine were in an affair with each other but nobody thought to use her postpartum depression after childbirth as a reason to doubt her word. Then there's the bodyguard who claims that the heroine was having an affair with the brother but nobody thought to look into his past because despite being an ex-cop he had a history of going after women. This would have been perfect since the heroine's statement claimed he was sexually assaulting her when the boss came in and tried to save her. Then there was the jewelry, they all claimed that because the jewels matched the eye color of the heroine. That was such weak sauce and I can't believe the stupid lawyer didn't throw that out of the court because I have jewelry that matches other people's eyes like friends but I don't accuse them of messing around with my partner. Then there's the hero who met the heroine only once and found her to be the one until he met her again on trial for killing his brother. Now, we're going to veer away from the heroine and focus on the murdered victim. I can't believe the hero believed his brother would be capable of adultery when he so loved and was openly affectionate with his wife. Lastly, there's the autopsy report: now, when you have a body that's been murdered, you check for how they were killed with what, and most importantly: fingerprints. If the bodyguard was fighting the boss then he would have had his hands into a certain position to suggest a frontal assault on the boss's clothes. There heroine's fingerprints would have been on there but they wouldn't have matched with how the victim was hit around. I mean this is forensic science, you can't lie with this on trial. So, how was is missed out, I wonder? Basically, the heroine is found guilty and sent to prison. After four years, she's given parole and the hero picks her up in order to keep her from the paparazzi that will ruin the family's image. The hero keeps telling the heroine that she's still guilty but she keeps telling him that she's not and she respected her boss. He evens tries to make her sign an privacy agreement but that agreement states that she'll still be admitting to the crime and she doesn't. Slowly, the hero recognizes the inconsistencies with the trial as well as the heroine's behavior. She starts appearing before him as a decent woman, especially when she defends his brother's honor against him for claiming him to be capable of adultery. This surprises the hero and he starts to have doubts that the heroine is actually the killer and so, he starts digging deeper for the truth when he starts to think that the bodyguard actually killed his brother. During this time, the two are fighting their attraction for each and from finding the good things about each other. The hero also finds some interesting information about how the jewelry was part of a set that had engraved into them about how the husband loved the wife. Then the bodyguard's past of stalking woman comes to light as well as the wife's depression. The hero tells the heroine that he's going to help her prove her innocence but he says it's for the face of his family, which breaks the heroine's heart. However, she goes along with it because she wants to prove her innocence just as well. She also meets with the wife who apologizes for her words when she learns of the bracelet's engraving. The wife and hero take the heroine out into town and the heroine enjoys it since nobody says anything with the hero and wife flanking her sides. Later on, they are able to build a case agains the bodyguard and it goes a little south from here. In making this case, the heroine wonders if their time together is coming to an end and she asks the hero what happens next. The hero stupidly repeats with the similar answer of traveling to different places to work to the heroine's question, now she thinks that she's out of his life. She tells him that she plans to leave and it shocks him because he thought they had something going. He fails to see that every time she asked about the future, he never listed her in it. However, he doesn't want to hold her back but the men of his family never beg (that is dumb, there's a difference between begging and asking). The two separate but the hero is unable to live without the heroine and he goes after her. They have a lovely confession of love and agree to marry each other.

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YOU GO GIRL!!!! 5  5

Didn't like the dude's weird hair, but that was secondary. The fact that Lucy refused to back down is great!!! Great facial expressions. I could feel her strength.

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