This HaBO request is from Kate, who is looking for this historical romance:
I am looking for a book written within the last 5-10 years. It is a historical romance set in England. The hero is scarred/disabled and lives in a castle/mansion, is not married, and has a small group of employees who live with him. Older employees, like a cook, stable hand, etc. All his employees know that he is rude and angry, but they love him anyway because they have worked for him and his family for years and know how he is a generous and loyal man. But because of what’s happened to him, he’s become angry. He was in a war and became disabled and scarred physically and mentally from that.
The heroine comes to stay at his home and work for him as a housekeeper. I do not know if she already has children when she moves in, but I do not think that she does. She is pregnant however when she comes to work for him; that’s why she stays to work for him even though he is rude to her. She does not tell the hero she is pregnant when she starts working there, but the old female who is a cook/housekeeper there at the home figures it out and tries to help the heroine.
Finally the heroine does give birth, to a son I believe. Either before the baby is born or afterwards, the hero falls ill. I don’t know if he gets hurt or if he falls ill from sickness, but the heroine nurses him back to health. In one scene, she gives him her breastmilk. (The hero later finds his out, I believe).
In another scene, the hero has started to recover some and is sitting in his office/library. And the baby is there playing on the carpet and I think it starts to walk in front of the hero. The hero was cold towards the baby to begin with, but he does grow to like the child. Just like the heroine, the hero does not like her to begin with but he does grow to respect her and like her. She is a lot younger than the hero as well.
The closest I have come to finding this book is To Beguile a Beast. However, after talking with another read who remembers the same book as me, we’ve discussed it and neither believes that the book we are looking for is that one.
I think we’ve had a similar HaBO before. Or maybe they’re all running together at this point: secretly pregnant heroine, scarred and grumpy hero, breastmilk.