This review may contain major spoilers. Please read with caution.
Expected Release Date: January 31, 2013
Publisher: NLA Digital Liason, LLC
Author’s Website: http://www.paula-reed.com/
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Favorite Tropes: Virgin Widow, Star-crossed Lovers
“Just tell me why! Why is it that you could break every rule for my brother, but you cannot bend a single one for me?”
Upon the death of his older brother, suddenly Andrew Carrington has everything he never asked for: the title of Earl of Danford, a once-sweet daughter turned rebel, a rakehell younger brother — and the temptation of his late brother’s exquisite widow under his roof. It was scandalous enough when the late earl married the bastard daughter of a duke and his outrageous mistress, but if anyone were to learn the even more shocking secret Miranda Carrington hides, it would hurt everyone she loves, including handsome, take-charge Andrew — the Carrington brother she wishes she had met first…
What Worked For Me:
- It isn’t very often that certain topics are touched upon, especially in historicals, and so I was actually quite pleased with Miranda’s “secret”. Brava!
- I loved that George, Miranda’s deceased husband, was not made out to be a villain, as so many “first husbands” are in romance novels. He was a flawed man, and he hurt Miranda deeply, but he was as good to her as he knew how to be, and in the end, I think he was a good man.
- On a similar note, I also appreciated that Andrew’s late wife was never portrayed as anything other than a lovely woman who had died in tragic circumstances. She wasn’t a paragon, but she wasn’t someone to regret having a relationship with either.
- I love the idea of falling in love through letters (and I realize that there is a literary term for this style of writing, but I’m feeling far too lazy at this very moment to look it up), and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the correspondence between Miranda and Andrew while he was deployed and she was “off-limits”. It was so obvious that they were falling for each other, even if they wouldn’t admit it to themselves, and I loved it.
- I’d never really considered the legalities of the time, but I really enjoyed the extra facet of the legal issues barring Miranda and Andrew from marrying Andrew — as the widow of his brother, the marriage would not actually be considered legal (or, at least, would be easily contestable and vacated by pretty much anyone, making it rather pointless). The angst that this caused in their relationship was wonderful.
- I adored Reggie, on so many levels.
- While not overly angsty in general, there were several truly heart-wrenching scenes that were truly well-written, and I loved them. This included George’s death (which is not a spoiler, since the blurb lists Miranda as a widow), as well as some life-changing moments for Miranda.
- I wanted so badly to hate Miranda’s mother, but I admit, I couldn’t. I tip my hat to Ms. Reed for that, because were it not for the scenes towards the end between Miranda and her mother, I have no doubt I would have turned the last page still despising the woman.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Though I listed it as a pet peeve, there were certain things about this story that fit in with the time period, and as such, were more minor issues than they would have been in a story set in a different era. Even so, I was annoyed and even a little disgusted with several of the characters for much of the story. This included things listed in the spoiler, as well as Andrew’s attitudes towards Miranda as a wife vs. a mistress in general.
- I don’t care for children in romance, and though I understood the necessity of having Emma as a character, I didn’t particularly care for her in general.
This book surprised me in several ways — some good, and some.. well, some were not so good.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the author chose to tackle a rather interesting topic for the time period, and the way she handled it was exceptionally done, especially given that she had to not only be considerate of the time period, but still allow readers to continue to like certain characters.
On the other hand, I didn’t realize going into this story that a child would play such a large part in the story, and as anyone who follows my reviews already knows, I don’t particularly care for children in romance.
Overall, however, I did enjoy this story. However, Andrew’s terrible treatment of Miranda for much of the story, combined with the obnoxious presence of his daughter, Emma, and that one particular pet peeve of mine that I’ve hidden for being a spoiler, all pulled my enjoyment down quite a bit.
In the end, I’d recommend this one for fans of forbidden romance, and finding a Happily Ever After in a seemingly impossible situation.