Release Date: November 4, 2014
Published by Loveswept
Review Copy from NetGalley
About the Book:
Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his impossible standards—until Cecelia Sanford becomes the first woman to interrupt the widower’s brooding in years. Lind had returned home from the Napoleonic wars, broken in body and soul and longing for his wife’s embrace, only to find her changed. Before they could reconcile, an accident struck their son and claimed her life. Now enter Cecelia, with her soft curves and sharp tongue—a tempting distraction, it is true, but not a welcome one.
Past the usual marrying age and haunted by a scandal of her own, Cecelia soon finds herself caring for both the child and the man. The viscount is brittle and even abrupt at times, yet she cannot deny the attraction that stirs her body in his presence. Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber—if she can just keep their pasts from destroying a second chance at love.
Each time I read a book by Ashlyn Macnamara I’m wowed by the effortless way she tells her story. The characters seem to almost develop themselves, making it easy to focus on what’s happening and become lost in the story. She may not have as many published works as some authors, but I have no doubt each and every book she writes will be quality work that’s a joy to read.
Cecelia Sanford isn’t a particularly unique type of historical heroine, but the way Macnamara manipulates her character as the story evolves is something distinctive. Historicals are full of ladies who fondly remember a youthful crush and are rekindling those feelings. Cecilia’s among them, however she finds herself in a singular predicament with regards to her position, status and reputation. This is the edge I’ve come to expect from Macnamara’s characters and that element which intrigues and keeps me reading.
Lind is likewise a gentleman of a common sort for historical romance in that his past has dealt him some bad blows, and now he’s wallowing in them rather terribly. He’s angry, bitter and unhappy, causing those around him to suffer right along with him. The attention grabber of his story is whether or not he can overcome his quest for vengeance and find happiness, and whether Cecelia will be a part of the process. His demons are fierce, and with a steadfast determination like Lind’s I’m not sure he’ll ever come around. Matching two strong-willed characters like these is bound to cause some sparks and excitement.
For all that it’s no secret Cecelia is willing to act on her attraction to Lind, their connection is a slow, quietly growing affection. Make no mistake – he wants her. He just has the restraint of a saint and puts up walls to protect himself. Watching those come crumbling down as they each seek to find solace and comfort is really satisfying. I could feel the growth and emotion they share as they overcome the hurt and heartache in their pasts to wipe the slate clean and hope for the future. The moments of wicked passion Macnamara intersperses balance out the tenderness, creating a truly well-rounded romance.
One last note – I seem to always mention Macnamara’s noteworthy covers. I’m not sure where Loveswept is finding these perfectly formed derrières, but I hope they keep them coming. I’ve already peeked at the cover for the third Eton Boys book
, and in my opinion they’ve even managed to raise the bar a little. Then again, I’d imagine that’s pretty representative of Rowan Battencliffe, wouldn’t you? Taking things just a bit further than the others.
You’ll have to take a look and judge for yourself. I’m sure the cover is just one of the many things I’ll love about Rowan’s book – I can’t wait to see how Macnamara concludes this trilogy.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS