Passion and Propriety by Elise de Sallier

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There is absolutely nothing improper about Hannah Foster, the vicar of Hartley’s eldest daughter, nursing the badly wounded Viscount Blackthorn back to health—that’s if the returned officer can be saved. At twenty seven she is two years the man’s senior, a confirmed spinster, and far too sensible to develop feelings for her patient. The fact he was once her childhood friend and has grown into a fine specimen of a man—his terrible scars notwithstanding—has no bearing on the matter.

Even if the unthinkable were to happen and William was to see past her plain exterior and recognise the caring, intelligent, passionate woman beneath, he is determined to break the curse that has plagued his family for generations by letting his bloodline die out. Her best friend, Grace’s, warnings are moot. A man of Lord Blackthorn’s wealth and position would never be interested in a woman like Hannah . . . would he?

Publisher and Release Date: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Writing House, August 2014
RHL Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 5 stars

Review by: Claudia

This story is beautiful in its simplicity and focus on the relationship between the central characters, William and Hannah. We learn a lot about them and why they are who they are; what makes them afraid, what makes them laugh with joy. Both characters are very loveable but also have their faults – they have a natural strength which makes them take up responsibilities without complaint but leaves them all the more vulnerable.

Their romance grows slowly out of compassion and friendship and develops into something much deeper and more important. Their feelings progress in a natural way and I appreciated the lack of drama – there are no forced misunderstandings, no long separations – everything in this book is within the boundaries of a normal relationship, which makes it much more beautiful and at times heart-wrenching. Another positive point is that there is a lot of humor in the book. We laugh with William and Hannah a lot – even through the hard times.

Most importantly, theirs is a very passionate relationship. The way in which they discover each other and take the time and honesty to learn about each other is beautifully done.

But even though there is a focus on the relationship, there is also a serious note in this book which speaks about the social problems of the time. We see the “normality” of slavers, child workers and the dependency of tenants on their landlord. There is also a slight religious aspect to the story, which is something I normally don’t favor, but everything in this book is so well woven together that it fits perfectly. We also learn what society and their community expected from a couple like William and Hannah, and how they try to fit their relationship around it.

The secondary characters are also more than well-written and are another factor which put this book in the 5 stars category. I really hope there will be soon another book in this setting – preferably with Grace as the main focus.

All in all Passion and Propriety is a very well-written and deeply felt romance, a perfect blend of strong characters, interesting story and a passionate relationship. I highly recommend this book to every lover of historical romance.

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