In case you’ve wondered…I haven’t taken a complete hiatus here, but I HAVE been dreadfully uninspired to write a review about any of the turds in the gigantic wheelbarrow load of horse crap that I’ve read over the last couple of months. I have adopted a new motto, in fact…”Life is too short to read sh*tty books.” I buy them (sometimes in entire series) and then I feel this ridiculous obligation to read the drivel because I paid what…a dollar for it?! Maybe $3 for it?! Well no more, friends…NO freaking MORE! So the other day, I closed yet another bad read on my kindle and downloaded a new book I’ve been dying to read! And that gets me to the book I’m ready to review here.
If you know me, you know I love me some Christi Caldwell. She’s classy, she’s smart, and she’s consistent. Her characters are well developed, her stories are interesting, and the love scenes are steamy without being sleezy. And she’s a heck of a nice person! What more can you ask for? So let’s get to the thick of it:
Admittedly, I’m not a “widow/widower” story line fan, but I took a chance and I couldn’t be happier! Eloise Yardley has had an all encompassing love for her childhood friend, Lieutenant Lucien Jones, for as long as she can remember. But after Lucien falls in love and marries another, Eloise decides she will do the same. Unfortunately, love was not in Eloise cards – how could she ever give her heart to another while her only true love was still living and breathing on this earth?
Little did she realize how closely Lucien had come to death. He had certainly faced hell head on. After his father bought him a commission and he went to war, he returned bitter and ravaged (both body and mind). After he learned that his cherished wife and the infant son he had never met had died while he was at war, he contemplated ending it all. Finally, with the help of the Marquess of Drake and his wife, he willed himself to keep living. His first step was accepting the employment that the Marquess offered him. It’s a huge side step in his life – far different than the pampered life he led as a spare to an heir. Things are just starting to turn around for Lucien – he’s happy to live a simple life with purpose. No one knows his past and he holds the key to a new and promising future.
Meanwhile, Eloise is on a mission – she needs to get Lucien home to see his dying father, and hopefully, to end this burning hatred Lucien feels toward his sire. Eloise adores Lucien’s family and wants them to mend the rift keeping them apart before it’s too late. But her intentions for seeing Lucien aren’t entirely chivalrous. Widowed Eloise has her own motives – like finally capturing the heart of her true beloved. But Eloise is a distraction that Lucien doesn’t need in his new life (so he thinks), but as he comes to know her as the passionate woman she has become, he finds the temptation difficult to resist. But it’s hard to compete with a ghost of a woman and even harder to engage the heart of a emotionally shuttered man hell bent on living a life free of connections to his family or his past.
Five stars! I was so emotionally connected to the characters, it was painful to see the book come to an end. Bravo, Christi!