Love blesses those who open their eyes
An arranged marriage is daunting, but not as daunting as seducing a spouse whose passions you do not understand.
Derek Charles Holbrook, Viscount Banfield, knew his fate since he was seventeen when his father announced his union to the beautiful but mysterious American girl by the name of Miss Grey. To protect the troubled estate, Derek submits to his father’s wishes, not realizing he’s about to entangle himself in a hell of a lot more than marriage.
Miss Clementine Henrietta Grey may be worth millions, but not a single coin has ever bought her a smidge of happiness. When she marries the charIsmatic and dashing Viscount Banfield, whose only strife in life appears to be the uneven seams in his coat, she finds that siring the heir he wants requires far more than her heart is prepared to give.
Unable to seduce his overly-serious and reluctant wife, Derek realizes his dreams of creating a loving family has turned into a nightmare. But with the unexpected assistance of a retired courtesan and her outrageous school, Derek and Clementine discover that passion is a language spoken not just from the body, but from the mind, heart and soul.
The story in a nutshell…
Derek Holbrook finds himself engaged at the age of seventeen after an announcement from his dying father to Miss Clementine Grey, an American heiress whose father is a close friend of his father. After a few weeks of getting to know each other, Clementine had to leave again for America on her father’s business affairs. But the two of them have been exchanging correspondences since then. Now, the date of the wedding has been set and Clementine and her father finally return to Britain. For Derek, it had been a long time coming. He has waited years for his bride. For Clementine, the trip to America is a very important one, but one that might not coincide with Derek’s idea of importance. Understandings and misunderstandings ensue to ultimately teach these two stubborn people what it means to live a life together.
What worked for me?
This was a very delightful and really refreshing read for me. Derek and Clementine are unique characters that I had no problem wanting to get to know more about.
Derek is a rare hero for me. He’s had feelings for Clementine ever since the first day that he met her and those feelings only grew as time went by. Never mind that they only really got to spend a few weeks together after they first met before she went to America again. Never mind that he seemed to be sending more letters to her that she to him. In short, he found himself pretty much in love with her for seven years. And in those years, he hasn’t looked at another woman, although he is not counting the woman he paid to have so he could at least practice once and not embarrass both of them on their wedding night.
Clementine on the other hand deeply cares for Derek but not as much as he obviously does, at least in the beginning. And this is the point in the story that I found really, really refreshing. I always enjoy reading stories where the hero harbors a secret love for the heroine for years while the heroine remains oblivious. The set-up in this book is similar but still not quite. And I love that about it. You have here a hero who most definitely feels more deeply than the heroine. I just love his steadfastness, a fidelity nearing devotion.
And I absolutely love that there were a lot of room for more development for the both of them, not just as a couple but as individuals as well. When they meet again as adults, we see them at critical points in their lives and you just can’t help but want to know more about how they will act, what they will say and do. I loved that I can’t tell whether the story will go one way or the other and I enjoyed being surprised all throughout the story.
What didn’t work for me?
Clementine, somewhere in the beginning of the book. I don’t mean that it didn’t work for me but that it only made me a little nervous and wary. In the wake of Derek’s obvious devotion to her, I was afraid that I would find her not as worthy of his affections as I would have liked to and that I won’t like her because of whatever pain she might cause him. Fortunately, Delilah Marvelle did a great job of revealing Clementine to her readers piece by mysterious piece and past the halfway mark, I already understood what motivates her plans and actions.
My over-all take on it?
This book is a breath of fresh air in the historical romance genre especially in terms of unique characters. I found I enjoyed reading about our hero’s and heroine’s journey towards their happily ever after as much as the actual destination. This is the first time I’ve read Delilah Marvelle and I would say it definitely won’t be my last.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
About the Author:
I spent my youth studying various languages, reading voraciously, and playing the pianoforte. I confess that here ends the extent of my gentle breeding. I was a naughty child who was forever torturing her parents with countless adventures that they did not deem respectable. Confined to my room on many occasions due to these misadventures, I soon discovered the quill and its amazing power. I scribed endless stories that almost invariably surrounded the topic of love, for I felt an inane need to be rescued from a family that did not understand my lust for life. In my mind, King Arthur became my true love and I waited for the day when he would come riding upon his steed and invite me to sit at his round table, not as his queen, but as his knight. To my distress, King Arthur was never to be found anywhere except for in the tip of my quill. And so I led an imaginary life for many, many years. When I finally came of age, my family was further horrified to discover that I had fallen in love with an American. An American King Arthur who became my knight, my husband, my all. I have been blessed beyond reason and am grateful for each day I have with him. What is equally amazing is that I now have the opportunity to share my passion for stories with the public. The reason why I write romance is because it allows me to touch upon the subject of love on a much deeper, more intimate level. Many of the stories I write, many of the stories I will continue to write, will always evolve around love. And yes, gentle readers, it will also evolve around sex as I have no intention of becoming my parents and restraining my characters from what it is they truly desire to do. I challenge you, my readers, to let loose of those corsets that have been strung too tightly due to convention and enjoy 1830 to its fullest.”
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