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Geoffrey Kane, Earl of Kanewood refuses to feel anything more than passion. Four years ago, his fiancée betrayed him and he has no desire to experience that again so when he meets the beautiful Rebecca Kingsley, it’s passion at first sight. And only passion.
Rebecca has led a very quiet life working for her father at a small country inn. When she meets Geoffrey she falls in love with him right away. But she’s only the daughter of a baronet and men like Geoffrey never marry country girls like her. Do they?
When Rebecca’s father tries to marry her off to a wealthy old man, Geoffrey intervenes and marries her himself. He wants her very much but he couldn’t possibly love her. Love is for fools. At least that’s what he tells himself. But a sinister enemy soon threatens to destroy all that Geoffrey holds dear, forcing him to face the truth. His marriage depends on it… And maybe even Rebecca’s very life.
Publisher and Release Date: Lachesis Publishing May 1, 2012
Time and setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by Vikki
Geoffrey Kane, the Earl of Kanewood, meets with an accident when he loses a wheel on his traveling carriage. The wheelwright in the closest town has injured his hand and tells Geoffrey it will be several days before he can repair the wheel. The earl takes lodging at Raven’s Inn, a surprisingly elegant establishment in Oakham. He’s not particularly bothered by the delay because it will give him time to think about some disturbing issues that have come up regarding his estate. It looks like someone is stealing from him and he needs to find out who.
Geoffrey is immediately taken with the innkeeper’s daughter, Rebecca Kingsley. The next morning, when he meets Rebecca coming out of a shop with a picnic basket, he suggests they find a place to enjoy the food. While picnicking on the common, Geoffrey kisses her, unable to resist her allure. That night, Rebecca shows up in tears – her father is planning to marry her off to the local doctor, a much older man.
By this point, Geoffrey is so smitten with her that he will do whatever it takes to prevent this, and he and Rebecca end up spending the night together. She knows it’s wrong, but thinks that if her father does carry out his plan, she will at least have chosen the man to whom she gave her virtue.
Betrayal at the hands of his former intended makes Geoffrey reluctant to become emotionally involved, but he is a gentleman, and the next morning, asks for Rebecca’s hand. Even though he is relieved at her refusal, Geoffrey can’t get her out of his mind, but when, after again succumbing to the undeniable attraction between them, they are discovered together, he asks again, Rebecca has no alternative but to accept him.
Can this passion that burns so bright grow into more, or will it burn out when they learn more about each other?
This story has moments of brilliance, yet at other times, it fails to deliver. As far as the characters, I liked Rebecca (can’t call her Becca, which is Geoffrey’s name for her, way too modern for a Regency) and thoroughly enjoyed Geoffrey. I totally bought why he had trust issues, based on what happened with his former betrothed. The plot twists are intriguing and the pacing kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. The sexual scenes are hot and the first half of the book is littered with them.
The story deepens about half way through the book, taking it from a light-hearted romp to a story of deceit and betrayal. From that point on, there is a lot more story and a lot less sex, capturing my attention on a deeper level. I was greatly surprised by who turned out to be the villain in this read – I never saw it coming.
I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the little girl, Ann, his brother’s daughter. I also thoroughly enjoyed Rebecca’s relationship with Geoffrey’s mother. I do struggle with how forgiving Rebecca is of Geoffrey’s lack of trust and of her parent’s abandonment. While the passion is fierce between the H/h, there is so much more between them, hence the title is a perfect fit.
Now for the reasons I gave this book 3.5 stars. Other than the aristocratic titles and brief descriptions of clothing, the tone of this book is way too modern, much more suited for a contemporary piece. Everyone in the story immediately uses each other’s given names, even if they haven’t been given permission to do so.
The author uses the word “hello” a lot and that word wasn’t around until the invention of the telephone. She refers to balls as “bashes” and also used the words “smashing” and “okay”. None of these words were in existence in Regency England.
I have a problem with the fact that Geoffrey and Rebecca fell into bed after only knowing each other a couple of days. I don’t have a problem with her being the daughter of an innkeeper because her father is a younger son of a Baronet, so Rebecca is gentry. Besides, I enjoy a good Cinderella story and this is definitely an interesting read.
Overall, I was entertained and isn’t that what a book is supposed to do? I’m glad I took a chance on this story and will probably read future books in the series.