by Jess Michaels
Published on November 8, 2016 by The Passionate Pen
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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Lucien, the Earl of Stenfax has been engaged twice, but only in love once. That was with his childhood sweetheart, Elise. When she threw him over for a man with more money and a higher ranking title, it broke him. Now she's widowed and he finds himself drawn to her again, like a moth to her flame.
Elise had her reasons for walking away from Lucien, reasons he doesn't understand. Back in Society, she's now financially desperate and is even considering becoming someone's mistress. But Lucien keeps appearing at the most inopportune moments and it's only a matter of time before the desire between them explodes.
Time will tell if Lucien will be able to see past his lusty drive for revenge. And if Elise can convince him she's worthy of more, despite the past.
The previous books in this series offered a little into the life of Stenfax but it was time he got his own book. Unfortunately, I can’t say I was really into this one. His betrothed from three years prior (who ended it abruptly and married another man) appears in his life once more seeking protection by considering the role of mistress to some wealthy lord or another. And it was really obvious how that was going to play out. The rest of the book I watched the two of them dance around each other and, frankly, it was annoying.
I didn’t dislike Lucien (Stenfax), exactly, but I never liked his character as much as his brother who already had his book. He’s definitely flawed and has been hurt and betrayed beyond repair by this one woman. Having the woman you love suddenly leave you without explanation is certainly going to sting and the act pushed him to almost do something that couldn’t be undone. It was a bit dramatic for my tastes but that’s his character, I suppose.
I got to see a different side to Elise than how she’s been previously described as and you learn that there was a lot more deception going on than anyone but she knew about.
It’s always deception that draws the lovers apart. It’s a bit overdone.
In any case, I actually really liked her character. She has a big heart and cares deeply for Lucien, even after all these years. And she’s not afraid to do something considered “improper” if it means her safety and freedom, which is commendable considering the era this is supposed to be written in as well as other leading ladies I’ve read about in the genre.
Honestly, the characters were likable enough that I could deal with them just fine. They didn’t turn me off too much from the book. But the plot did. It was a constant back and forth between Lucien and Elise with neither trusting the other and it continues to worsen the situation Elise is in. Their trust issues took center stage in the story instead of what brought them together and that storyline, or even their romance which was based all around those issues. In short, it got old.
I think this has been my least favorite book in the series so far but definitely a must-read to get through the last book. While I imagine you could read these books as standalones, they definitely build off each other and events from previous books are referenced often enough that it warrants checking out the earlier installments. Since I’ve made it this far, I’ll be reading Adored in Autumn and just hope that Felicity’s story is better than Lucien’s.