Read an excerpt: here
The book starts off with a 13 year-old Ralph's life crashing down around him. His mother (for all intents and purposes) was a whore; going out many nights with different gentleman (a few of whom liked to rough woman up and knocked one of her teeth out, leaving her with a gap). When she leaves one night for one of her 'little strolls', she never returns. Soon Ralph gets turned out of their lodging house with no where to go. Alone, hungry and with no place to stay, Ralph becomes the perfect target for thievery-ring leader Johnnie Black.
After all the years of dangerous and rough living, Ralph, at age 30, finds some subtle peace as the personal secretary to street rogue turned successful self-made businessman Patrick O'Rourke.
From the moment Rourke's sister-in-law Bea came into his life, Ralph has always held a secret candle for her, even though he believed her to be out of his league.
Bea Lindsey was the victim of some unwanted lecherous advances by a friend of her father, and when she fled London to find solace in Scotland with her sister Kate, she knew she was just running from her scandal and her problems. She is determined to learn from her mistakes and take her life into her own hands. Marrying Mr.Billingsby will give her the stability and security life with her father, the Earl of Romney, never afforded. Hamilton Billingsby "never drinks to excess or uses strong language or gambles more than is fashionable". Life with Billingsby will be safe....and boring.
She already tested the passionate waters with her fiance' and was left with much being desired. She decides that if she's going to marry him, she'll have to take the reigns and see to their mutual sexual pleasures. She believes a good sex life will be the factor in a successful marriage and substitute for the lack of love. Mr.Billingsby doesn't know what he is doing, and neither does Bea; but one man who does know a thing or two is Ralph Sylvester.
Upon the night of her return to Linlithgow after leaving 9 months ago, Bea finds her way to Ralph's rooms and propositions him to teach her how to give and receive pleasure. Ralph has been lusting after Bea for sometime, and her return after 9 months has only validated his acute yearning for the mesmerizing woman. He sets the condition that they are to meet every night for a week at 9 o'clock and that she is to give herself up completely to the pleasure.
After a startling discover that his fallen angle wasn't as fallen as she lead on to believe, the sexual encounters build up and become very enlightening to Bea. She and Ralph begin to feel deeper feelings for one another than they intended too.Ralph is no agonizing over his impending good-bye to the woman who fills his days with long and his nights with satisfaction. Bea is afraid to pursue something more with Ralph for fear he may reject her. But when push comes to shove, just asking for what one want proves to be the most useful lesson of them all.
::Rating:: 4 "Aww's" ::Rating:
This novel isn't just a treat, it's a whole repast. The beginning had my heart-lurching after only a few pages and the happily ever after wasn't reached over night. I felt the misunderstandings were a bit too stretched towards the end and that after they exchanged I love you's the plot got just a tad tedious, but overall, it was a great read. With lines like: "He wanted her to not just want him, but to need him. He wanted to be her food, her opium, her air. He wanted to snare her so that the breadth of her desire made it impossible to fathom ever leaving him. Not now. Not ever." you can feel the urgency and emotion within every page. And did I mention how HOT the male model is on the cover? Sexy beyond words, in my opinion. And the scenes were just as hot (they were steamy, sexy and even scandalized ME a few times). Make sure you keep a fire extinguisher close at hand when reading this book.
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is the morning after Bea propositions Ralph to be her tutor. They are having breakfast and while Kate and Rourke are preoccupied with baby Lucy, Ralph begins toying around with Bea. He puts his hand on her knee and starts to explore, all while she tries to keep her composure. I thought this scene was funny because not only are they registering their mutual desire for each other in a convert way, but Bea doesn't just sit there and turn completely submissive to Ralph's ministrations. She actually teases him back a bit, which flips the tables on him and has him in need of some proper 'concealment'.
-Make certain that you stop by on July 1st, when Hope stops by the blog for a little chat about her latest book, life as an author, and offers some advice for aspiring authors! =D
*special thanks to Hope Tarr
for sending a review copy!
*Also check out the previous novel that introduced us to Bea and Ralph, 'Untamed', Kate and Rourke's story!