FORM: eBook - Netgalley
SERIES: The Guardian Brethren
While I was granted permission to read this book by a NetGalley affiliate publisher, HQNbooks, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!
SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick, is certain there is a special hell for him. An unrepentant rake, he holds nothing sacred – except for beautiful Elizabeth York. For years, Alynwick has tried to forget the woman he loved so well, and treated so badly. A woman who could hold nothing in her heart for him except hatred.
All of society believes Elizabeth, blind daughter of a duke, to be a proper young lady. But no one knows of her wanton affair with Alynwick. When Lizzy learns of her ancestor’s ancient diary – filled with exotic tales – she longs to uncover the identity of the unnamed lover within and hesitantly allows Alynwick, who claims to have knowledge of the “veiled lady,” to help her solve the mystery.
Eager to be Lizzy’s eyes, Alynwick brings the seductive text to life, and each night it takes greater effort for her to forget his betrayal. With each whispered word, her resolve gives way, without her knowing that a centuries-old secret will lead them to a present-day danger.
REVIEW: I am in love with Charlotte Featherstone’s writing. She is like the epitome of a good romance writer in my eyes. You know how it is, you read books and you’re thinking, “yeah, that was a good book.” “Enjoyable, perfectly entertaining.” Well, when I read Charlotte Featherstone’s books, it’s more like “YES, this is exactly what I was looking for!” I have a feeling that her books could be rate G, and be written for 7 or 8 year old children, and they would still be excellent. She weaves a story that is interesting and engaging. You not only want to know what happens, you’ve got to know what happens. But what really does it for me are the characters. So unique and well formed. They are likeable, even if they are a bit ruthless and dark – if they have their reasons for their bad behavior, you love them for it. But since her books are not written for children (nor are they rated G,) – I have to admit, what I absolutely love the most is that her male leads are absolutely falling over themselves in love, they are gushing with it, it is their biggest downfall and greatest strength. It is wonderful, and absolutely without a doubt (to this extent) unrealistic. That’s exactly what you want out of a book, right?
Before you jump all over me, yes, it is possible to be absolutely crippled by love – but it’s not really healthy nor have I ever seen it as I have in these books. Reality is a little more…well, real.
Okay, so this is the third book in The Guardian Brethren series, and it is Iain and Elizabeth’s story. The mad marquis, Scottish rake and the blind sister of one of his “brothers,” Adrian. They have a past, they have had passion previously, but Iain walked away from everything that they had leaving Elizabeth broken and a bit hardened. You get little tidbits of their story in Pride and Passion, so going in you already know it’s going to be good. My favorite parts are the simple intimate impactful moments, like Elizabeth and Iain out in the snow. What a beautiful, heart pounding scene! I just re-read my review of Pride and Passion, and even then I said I wanted to give you a little sample of the writing – I denied you then, but I’m feeling a little more generous today I suppose, because I just have to share one little taste. This is a small part of the snow scene I just indicated, and you have to remember, Elizabeth is blind. This scene, in it’s entirety, is my favorite of the whole book, however this is just a portion of the very beginning:
“I have waited for this, Beth, this moment,” he whispered as he took her hands in his and brought her fingertips to his mouth, kissing each fingertip before placing her palms on either side of his face. “When Sussex, Black and I returned from the East, I watched you as you did this – touched Sussex, then Black. And I waited, holding my breath, barely able to control my feelings, waiting to feel your touch on my face. But you did not. You made a polite enquiry after my health and left me standing alone by the hearth. And, then, the other afternoon with Sheldon, you touched him, and I was alone, and apart again. Remembering what it was like to await your touch, and then never to feel it. Beth,” he whispered as he moved closer to her, “won’t you touch me? See me?”
This series is a little different from other series I’ve read. Usually in a series of books you get a straight line, with this one (well, at least the last two – I still need to read the first book) the line is a bit more jagged. Ms. Featherstone goes back and fills in a few gaps you didn’t even realize you were missing from the previous book. The story is the same in parts, yet continues in others. I’m anxious to get my hands on Seductions & Scandal, and I’ll likely revisit Pride & Passion. As much as I’ve enjoyed Temptation & Twilight, I think Pride & Passion is still my favorite thus far, the back story on that one is heart melting.