Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: October 13, 2009
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: eBook, 386 pages
How I got it: From the library
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
She gave him her innocence…
Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside…an exile from London society.
…and he took her love.
Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.
I have a confession – I am a Lisa Kleypas addict and it all started with this book right here. Since I decided to try out historical romance (and fell in love with it), nearly every HR fan I know has recommended Lisa’s books as the best of the best and the absolute must reads. I totally get it now. Not that I doubted it (or them) for even a minute. But DANG. This is great stuff.
I’m not always one who enjoys novellas but I’m so glad I looked at the Goodreads reviews for this book before I cast it aside. I knew after a single chapter that I would love this book. I loved Lisa’s writing and I was already hopelessly in love with the characters. Now, I’ll admit I was a little nervous when I was in tears early on in the book. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was going to be in for, but I couldn’t wait to find out.
I loved Aline and McKenna’s story. I mean, yeah, it broke my heart when they were separated the first time. I adored them together. Seeing them reunited brought out all kinds of emotions because of the changes to both of them in the time they were separated. On the surface, McKenna was a scoundrel and a rake (god I love the language of HR). I was a little concerned what that would mean to a future between him and Aline. Thankfully I didn’t really have to worry. Underneath it all – and regardless of the plans he made before arriving back at Stony Cross Park – he was still totally smitten with her. And, naturally, I with him. Aline was a great character, even though I wanted to wring her neck a fair few times as she let her self-consciousness get in the way of her attraction to McKenna and the things developing between them. McKenna was just freaking gold. He’s definitely on the favorites list when it comes to book boyfriends.
Livia and Gideon’s story was a pleasant bonus! I didn’t know I would be getting a two for one when it came to romance. The two of them were so well-suited and, honestly, who doesn’t love to watch a notorious rake fall head over heels? That’s half the fun of historical romance after all. Livia was a great, strong female character. I loved how she challenged Gideon to overcome his addition and become a better man.
Between Aline and McKenna and Livia and Gideon, I was on a romance high throughout this entire book. It was sweet, swoony and sexy. The writing was fantastic. When I didn’t have a big, goofy smile on my face because of the banter and the romance, I had tears in my eyes because of the feels. So, so good. Whether you’re new to HR (like me) or an old fan, if you’ve not read this book and series yet, you must. It’s seriously all the things I love about romance – and reading – in one wonderful book.