Historical fiction is not my cup of tea; yet now I have second thoughts!
Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?
It's not that I didn't expect to like this book. It is after all a romance novel. Albeit, a historical romance. On the contrary, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I was originally deterred by the Old English jargon, but the plot had me enthralled enough to over look the language distraction.
I was surprised (pleasently surprised) by the main female character, Martha Russell's, personality, not at all common in this genre of fiction. Her husband recently passed and has an unjust will. She risks losing everything to his scumbag of a brother unless she is carrying a male heir. Unfortunately she's not pregnant, but no one is the wiser. A rambunctious strapping young lad (my words, not the book) from the city, rumored to be skilled in the bedroom, comes to town...Martha thinks he may be the answer to her predicament.
Ha! but this is not as all how it is sounding. Martha is every aspect of the word "Lady". She was not that way in public and then another way in private. Nope, not at all like a mistress in a historical romance novel. And it didn't take one wink from this playboy to turn her into a porn star. I felt she was a very believable character! To watch their relationship/business partnership blossom from cordial.....tolerable...to affectionate was precious and heart touching.
I am not one to read a book more than once. However, I find myself glad I won this advanced copy. I anticipate reading this one again in the near future. Cecilia Grant is a debut author and I look forward to seeing what other books she will have to offer. I think I may grow to like historical romance.