Series: The Bachelor Lords of London #2
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ Barnes & Noble ♥ Kobo
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
In the next sparkling romance in debut author Charis Michael’s Bachelor Lords of London series, a proper viscount meets his match in a beguiling virgin who can’t help but break all the rules.
Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At the innocent age of fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. After two days, a young lord discovers her and enacts a brave rescue to get her out. Now she’s a grown woman, working to save other girls from the horror she saw that night and never forgetting the young man who rescued her.
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh has overcome an abusive boyhood, neglectful parents, and a bankrupt title to be one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. He works tirelessly to be upright and forthright and proper to a fault. Now he requires only one thing: A proper, forthright, proper wife.
When a charity event puts Lord Bryson and Lady Elisabeth face-to-face, Bryson has no memory of the wounded girl of long ago. All he can see is a perfect candidate to be his future wife. Elisabeth has never forgotten him, but she worries that the brave boy who saved her so long ago has become a rich man with an unfulfilled life.
As a whirlwind courtship reveals the truth, Bryson must accept that Elisabeth is actually a shadow from his dark past, while Elisabeth must show that love is the noblest virtue of all.
I have been in a slump with historical romances lately, but this book was the perfect way to get back in the groove. With a title like THE VIRGIN AND THE VISCOUNT, you would expect business as usual, but that’s very far from true. Everything about this book was unexpected, in a really good way.
Fifteen years ago, Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes found herself in the worst situation ever. Set upon by highway men, her parents were killed and she was sold into a brothel, only to be rescued by her potential client. Now she finds herself the object of the affections of the man who rescued her so long ago – Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh. But how will he feel when he discovers their shared past?
Bryson Courtland grew up with parents who were more interested in the pursuit of unsavory pleasure, each more debauched than the previous, than caring for their sons, the title and all who depended on it and as the target of many of his father’s jokes, he was determined to restore respect to the title and family name and choose to live a rigid and very controlled life, focused on growing his business. Now that the title is his, he has wasted no time repairing what was destroyed, but the final step to respectability is marrying the appropriate bride and Elisabeth fits all his criteria for the appropriate bride, but will the truth of her activities deter him from pursuing her?
What do a man who hungers for society’s acceptance and woman who bucks society’s idea of a woman’s interests have in common? This was a really engaging book and I really enjoyed it. It was in parts lighthearted, with fun banter between Elisabeth and Bryson as he sought to win her hand and in others very emotional and tear-jerking.
Ms. Michaels writes a very strong and independent character in Elisabeth, a woman who has made it her life’s work to save girls in situations similar to what she found herself, pretty much forging her own path without a care for her reputation in a society where reputation was everything. Bryson was a very complex character and every new revelation about his past added to his complexity, but readers may find him a harder character to like, even while enjoying the journey he takes and the growth he attains.
My favorite thing about this book is that the author kept the spirit of the regency era even as she gave the characters and the story a modern feel. I will recommend this book to both lovers of historical romance and people testing the waters for the first time and I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for more from this author.
Why I Always Have a Romance Novel in My To-Be-Read Queue
Like many people, I am reading at least three books at any given time.
I’ve got an audio book to help me make it through mindless chores or when I’m driving. This is usually a work of literature, which means at least one character is either coming of age, enduring some manner of plight, or dying of Cholera (or all three), but in beautifully rendered prose.
I always do a 19th-century research book before bedtime. This adds texture, flavor, and authenticity to my own writing. For this, I read an actual bound book and annotate as I go.
But the third book I’m reading, the one that gets me through the day, the one that makes me pine for a doctor’s-office waiting room or the line at customer service, is a romance novel.
I download this book on the Kindle app of my phone so it is always with me, and this is my main book. It’s the one that captures my imagination, and the one I want to discuss with my friends, whether they’ve read it or not. This is the one that, since I was 16 years old, has made me want to be a romance writer.
Why? Well, I could name the usual suspects, all of them true: romances are hopeful; romances offer a guaranteed happy ending in a world with no such guarantees; romances are plot-driven, fast reads, big on entertainment and short on death-by-Cholera.
But I think the real reason that I’m always reading a romance novel is that, to me, there is no greater suspense, no bigger cliff hanger, no more complicated how-will-the-author-pull-this-off than the story of an unlikely hero and a heroine who fall in love. If the author has done it right—and my favorites always do it right—the setup spells absolute doom for this couple. How can you not turn the pages to see how the the magic unfolds. And don’t talk to me about unrealistic, because we all know this magic can be just as elusive in real life.
A common refrain from non-romance readers is, “but they all end the same way.” To this I say, “Yes! And thank goodness. But it’s not about the ending.” It’s the journey. It’s watching unexpected unity take root, struggle, and then thrive. For me, getting there is all the fun. And honestly, I cannot do without it.