by Anna Bradley

Rating:
4/5


Plot/Storyline: 📖📖📖
Feels: 🦋🦋🦋🦋
Romance: 💞💞💞💞
Emotional Depth:💔💔💔
Sexual Tension:⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Sensuality: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Sex Scene Length: 🍆🍆🍆

Well, I loved this book from moment one. Anna Bradley is a phenomenal writer. The prologue captured me in a way that few do. It was vivid and mysterious. It raised questions that I wanted the answer to, but not in that sort of predictable way, as some writers do when they skirt around an issue that is so obvious you don’t know why they’ve bothered trying to hide it.

And when it launches into chapter one, 31 years in the future, you immediately have more questions. Do yourself a favor and don’t read the summary before reading this. Or forget what it said like I did, so you’re utterly intrigued.

Chapter one opens with our heroine, Delia, traipsing through the muddy English countryside in search of help for their broken down carriage. She meets our hero, Alec, immediately. I loved that. I love when I don’t have to wait for the romance to start. I don’t like plodding through a ton of set up. I just want them together. Let me learn the rest as we go along. Anna Bradley did that brilliantly here.

Compared to the last book I read, where I had difficulty ever fully imagining the hero, Alec, was instantly larger than life. I could immediately visualize him. Big and masculine. Raw with sex appeal. Striking in his brazenness and baldly inappropriate. Perhaps it helped that Anna Bradley spent a paragraph describing him waiting for his own erection to dissipate before facing, and meeting, Delia for the first time, without being explicit about it. To be able to describe that in a way that is clear and yet not vulgar just indicates how good of a writer she is. And for someone who wants tension and steam in a romance, it set me up right for this book.

The other thing I loved was that these two are noticing each other from the beginning. The tension is thick and warm and you can just tell that it’s heading for sparks flying everywhere and enough heat to make you want to whip out a fan. The whole book was fluffy, angsty feels, with a hearty dose of steam mixed it.

Delia was an interesting combination of naive and knowledgeable. She understands so much and yet has zero experience with so many things. So the words she says and the way she acts are at once innocent and experienced. They’re coy and brazen at the same time. And often downright comical.

Alec is also a contrast in character. Your typical arrogant aristocrat and yet not. He comes off a little cold and aloof but underneath the exterior he’s burning hot. A man with smoldering passions that he recognizes and doesn’t deny. He convinces himself he’s playing a game but still acknowledges all those inner feelings at the same time. He’s dark and delicious and witty and playful. A cynic and an unexpected romantic.

And the best thing about him is that he absolutely loses his mind over Delia. He unraveled over her and I loved seeing it happen. He had so much tenderness inside him for her. So many regrets for doing not a whole lot wrong. Sure, he had some wicked thoughts, but his conscience guided him and in the end he really only made one real mistake. His inner softness was the perfect contrast to that stony exterior. What he showed on his surface was not at all who he wanted to be.

There was, I think, a bit of a thread missing though. The book felt either a trifle undeveloped or heavily edited. I’m not sure which. I missed learning more about Delia’s past. The timing and pacing of the book felt a bit off. I couldn’t tell exactly how much time had passed and at the end I was surprised when it said he’d known her for weeks, because it didn’t feel that way and it wasn’t explicitly said.

I loved the first two thirds of this book. It was hot and sweet and had tons of feels. But I have to admit that it lost me about in the last third. The feels tapered off for me and the story felt a bit rushed. It just wrapped up so quickly that I was missing the depth of feeling that typically catapults a romance to 5 stars for me. I was ready for it to end before it ended.

But overall I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others. Especially if you’re looking for a light, sexy read. If anything, had it been a little more deep, it probably would have thoroughly latched onto my heart as an all time favorite. But absolutely, 100% worth reading. 

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