Review: Passion and Propriety by Elise de Sallier

passion and proprietyReviewed by Jen

This is probably one of my favorite historical romances I have read this year.  It features a wounded, scarred, virgin hero and a spinster vicar’s daughter who is two years his senior.  They are socially mismatched.  They must fight a family curse.  The odds are all stacked against them. But in William’s entire life, no one has ever loved him but Hannah.  And he has never cared for anyone as he cared for the childhood friend who accepted him when everyone else turned their back.  (I’m starting to swoon all over again!)

As the story begins, William is seriously wounded and basically is returning home to die.  But Hannah finds him crumpled in the cemetery and takes it upon herself to nurse him back to health.  Since she is now a spinster at 27, she figures her reputation would be unaffected.  She takes him back to his family home and with the help of a friend and healer, he recovers beyond anyone’s expectation.  What she never expected was that should would develop tender feelings for her patient.  And even more surprising: the Viscount would grow to care for her too.

Their feelings grow quickly, but not so quickly that it strained credibility.  I believed in their growing friendship and attraction 100%.  But a match between them is anything but simple.  The difference in station is part of it, but the real obstacle is William’s family curse.  It has caused every Blackthorne wife in five generations to die in childbirth.  It has made William an outcast and it has prompted him to swear off marriage and children for life.  The entire village believes in it.  So how could he subject Hannah to an inevitable death?

This book isn’t really supernatural, so much as the people are superstitious.  But it was a different time.  “Modern” medicine often did more harm than good and women often died having babies.  What’s important is that William really believes it and he struggles so much, going back and forth between his love for Hannah and his fear for her safety.  He is such a great hero.  And there is so much angst and sexual tension going on between him and Hannah.  They want each other so much but William really believes it could destroy them.

I really liked the way the story progressed.  Each step they took made sense to me and got us closer and closer to the inevitable conclusion you can see coming from the very beginning of the book.  And each step satisfied.  True, the ending is a little predictable, but I found that I didn’t really care since I enjoyed getting there so much.

Great character building. Engaging and emotionally compelling.

Rating: B+

*ARC provided by publisher for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Passion and Propriety
by Elise de Sallier
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

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