Axel (Jaded Gentlemen #3) by Grace Burrowes
Synopsis: Axel Belmont, though a wealthy and much-respected botanist, occasionally takes a turn serving as magistrate in his rural corner of Oxfordshire. When the owner of a neighboring estate is the victim of a homicide, Axel initially suspects the man’s much younger wife, Abigail Stoneleigh, of committing the crime.
But then Abby appears to be in harm’s way, and Axel’s investigation uncovers longstanding deceptions aimed at cheating her out of wealth and happiness. The solution to this deadly puzzle remains elusive, even as Axel captures Abby’s heart and surrenders his own. Axel is a fine investigator, a devoted father, a brilliant scientist, (and an excellent kisser), but will he solve the mystery before the villain strikes again?
Review: I enjoyed the dynamic between Axel and Abigail. The murder mystery that guides the whole plot line was enjoyable and I liked following the characters as they worked out the puzzle pieces of the murder and fell in love in the process. Nick makes another appearance in this one and I love all of his flirting. I have actually already read Nicks book, I started Burrowes books in the original order of her series and then when she recently came out with a reorder of when to read which book in her blended series I ended up backtracking. I got to meet Nick as the stable master, then as the occasional stable master and flirting viscount. Now he is fully the flirting aristocrat who dreads marriage and the loss of his freedom while knowing full well what is in store in his book when he meets Leah. That was cool going backwards. I love how all of Grace Burrowes’ series are woven together with vibrant settings and passionately well-written characters. I’m glad Axel and Abigail got a second chance at happiness (very similar to his brother Matthew’s story with Theresa). Abigail was married to a man who ends up being far more cruel and villainous than orignally thought. He was the victim of murder, but Abigail ends up being more the victim. Axel is also a widower who is hoping to get a fellowship at Oxford which will require him to be celibate, so marriage is not in his future. As they come together to solve the murder their passion is beautiful to watch unfold and their love is beautifully crafted by Grace Burrowes.