This is my first read of a Carolyn Jewel and it was an enjoyable book. I will be trying some of her other books in the future.
This book contains some mature content, it’s recommended for 16+
The Earl of Banallt is no stranger to scandal. But when he meets Sophie Evans, the young wife of a fellow libertine, even he is shocked by his reaction. This unconventional and intelligent woman proves to be far more than an amusing distraction – she threatens to drive him to distraction. Unlike the women who usually fall at Banallt’s feet, and into his bed, Sophie refuses to be seduced. And soon Banallt desires her more than ever – and for more than an illicit affair.
Years later, the widowed Sophie is free, and Banallt is determined to win the woman he still loves. Unfortunately, she doesn’t believe his declaration of love and chivalrous offer of marriage – her heart has already been broken by her scoundrel of a husband. And yet, Sophie is tempted to indulge in the torrid affair she’s always fantasized about. Caught between her logical mind and her long-denied desire, Sophie must thwart Banallt’s seduction – or risk being consumed by the one man she should avoid at all costs…
Rating: 4 Stars
I love a good historical romance book as it is one of my favourite genres. This book is a historical romance and while it is not my favourite one I have ever read, it is a really good book. The book has a good story but the plot was not fast paced or anything such as that, this concentrates more on the relationship and the development of that between the two characters. I want to say it was a quick easy ready, but it was too much filled with angst, heartbreak and emotions to be a easy read. Banallt has wanted Sophie even when he himself was married and she was married to one of his friends, Banallt is a rake and a scoundrel so has no objections to cheating on his wife. Due to this I had a hard time warming up to Banallt, I did in the end but it did take a while. Sophie believes in her wedding vows and even though her husband stays she will not, her and Banallt become friends over the years but then one day due to a disagreement Banallt leaves. The book actaully starts with Banallt coming to see Sophie with her brother John to propose marriage as she has been widowed for a while. Sophie turns him down, and so he returns to London. The story starts from when Sophie and her brother John also arrive in London as war is coming and her bother has political power so is needed. Sophie and Banallt obviously meet again in London and so their relationship starts to develop again from here.
The writing in this book was lovely, at times it broke my heart and I did cry at one point. There is not too much of a plot and sotry outside of these characters. The books focuses the past and on showing us how they knew each other and then how they are presently. So we get to see the characters change and developed as we’re given an insight into their past, rather than their past just being mentioned here and there. I really enjoyed the flash backs, though I did sometimes have a hard time understanding whether it was the past or present. The chapters did have to dates on to make it clear but I have a bad memory and so did not remember which date the previous chapter was but this did not affect my enjoyment of the book much.
As I mentioned it took me time to warm up to Banallt but he developed into such a sweet character for me. The flashbacks helped with this as we got to see what he was like then and what he was like now. I’m glad he was adamant to show Sophie he had changed, and was a man who was not afraid of saying I love you.When he first said it I do not think he loved Sophie but was in lust of her, but it did develop into love. I liked Sophie as a character, she stuck to what she believed and did not allow Banallt to force her to do anything. However she is the reason this is not a 5 star review, because I had an issue with her. I understand that her husband cheated on her, and took no notice of her than to spend her inheritance so she was scarred from a bad marriage so she would be very wary of Banallt. That was fine for the first half of the book, but Sophie compared Banallt to her first Tommy through out the entire book and doubted his ability to remain faithful throughout. I know Banallt was a rake and he cheated but at times I really wished Sophie would let the subject go and try to accept his word that he has changed rather than always bring up how he was a rake and cannot change. This is why I gave the book 4 stars, I felt that Sophie was denying the change in Banallt for too long, even though anyone could see he had changed and was still trying to. The book had a happy ending but it was rushed, I felt that the page before she was still doubting Banallt and then on the next page she decided she loved him and then the end. The ending of this book was rather abrupt for me, it left me feeling unsatisfied. I wanted to see Sophie realise Banallt had changed through his actions, rather than how it actually happened. I also wanted to see more of them both after Sophie’s realisation, I prefer when books has epilogues as I love seeing a glimpse into the main characters future rather than just imagining.
I would say give this book a read. It is so well written.