A deliciously angsty hero; a heroine who is steadfast, loyal and knows her own heart. Fabulous sexual tension and a love story to pull on the heartstrings. Simply put, this book rocked my socks off. In her letter to readers at the before the story begins, Delilah Marvelle says the publishing industry has no place for a book like this one. Perhaps the industry needs its head examined, because this book gave me absolutely everything I want in a historical romance.
Still need convincing? Let me give you the setup.
Lady Caroline knew she was in love with Ronan, the Marquess of Caldwell, when she was only 13 years-old. The dashing 24 year-old was her brother’s friend, but he quickly made a special place in his life just for her. They had a standing weekly card game for years. They talked; they valued one another; they were friends in the truest sense of the world. But circumstances forced Caroline to move away at 16. She professed her love before she left, but it was clear he still saw her as a child.
Fast forward three years. When she returns, Caroline is most definitely grown, and ready to pursue Caldwell’s hand. And when he sees her, he can’t help but react as any man would to her beauty. The problem is, he doesn’t want to soil the one true and good thing in his life. He has a dark secret that keeps him from forming real relationships. I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say, it leaves him feeling unworthy of Caroline and unwilling to pursue anything beyond friendship. But fate and the interference of others won’t let that be enough.
Ah, I loved Caldwell so. Marvelle has constructed such a marvelous tortured hero in him. He is so sure he isn’t good enough for Caroline; so unaware of his own feelings; so… good. And Caroline! It would have been so easy to make her naive or weak-willed because of her age or her consuming devotion. But she respects herself too much to be walked on; and at the same time is so unwavering and true. I loved her almost as much as I loved him. There is great chemistry. And most importantly, I believed in their feelings for one another 100%.
My only small complaint is that Caldwell’s issues resolved a little faster than I would have liked, and much of it, off page. I would have liked to see more of his “education” at the school of gallantry, but perhaps, some of the events there happened in previous books. I must go and read the backlist to find out. If books one and two are anywhere as good as this one, they will definitely be worth the read. I couldn’t put this one down.
*ARC provided by author for review
Lady of Pleasureby Delilah MarvelleRelease Date: March 15, 2013