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I felt a bit cheated by the end of story. 3 1/2 stars.
The author did spin an unusual tale that held my attention, provided rich background and interesting secondary characters. Jordan's writing style is enchanting and her love scenes have titillating sensuality.
I just wish the heroine had carried out the promise of strength and maturity throughout the book.
Ela was not a typical heroine. Author introduces Ela as a strong dowager who held together her daughter and stepchildren after the death of her much older husband. Furthermore she preserved a good, albeit false, image of the late Duke for their children.
Although most of this information about the heroine is told, there were instances where her generosity and caring were shown. And her trip to a risqué club showed daring. Well, maybe daring...?
In the latter half of the story, Ela all too often demonstrates a propensity for running. She runs from confrontations, from emotions and just plain packs up to run.
All this time, Colin stays fixed upon winning Ela. Given the way she treats him, he is quite the steadfast hero. I really never felt the author gave me an understanding of why he loved Ela.
Bottom line- This would have been an unquestionable five-star read but for two factors. One, the emotional connection between the hero and heroine was underdeveloped. Most important, the heroine never carried through with the strength and durability that she was described with in the book's beginning.
This was a good read, if nothing new and wonderful. I have not read Sophie Jordan before but would again. Lots of eye exchanges and sex thinking, so the focus was strictly on the hero and heroine and not on a richer story of their lives and backgrounds and emotions beyond that. Still, those kind of sharply focused stories have their place in romance. I just want a bit more from my 4 or 5 star books.
Ela knew what she wanted, she just did not expect to find it, right in front of her. Talked into finally living a fuller life after the loss of a close friend. Ela steps out of the shadows only to realize she can have all the ever wanted.
I really wanted to like this book. Normally I enjoy Sophie Jordan's book and had pre-ordered. I was disappointed. The heroine was exhausting and her continual pushing away became annoying. I read a lot of these historical romance novels and I would but this as a 3 at best.