Sex Scene Length: 🍆🍆🍆🍆🍆
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If you have not read Meredith Duran, you must. I think I she may just be my favorite author. Even over Sarah MacLean and more than Judith McNaught, who I have loved for 20 years. Her writing is simply beautiful. There is a depth of feeling to them that I have found to be unparalleled. She takes moments and practically turns them into poetry. And her love scenes feel like love scenes, not just sex.
This is my third book by her and each one I’ve loved more than the last. Everyone of her books that I’ve read has left me emotionally wrecked inside. They end happy, but the journey to get there is always an unfolding of layers that go so deep you could believe her characters are real.
This book follows the story of James and Lydia who are both working their way through difficult issues between themselves and their fathers. They are two parallels who both oppose and compliments each other.
Lydia is a 26 year old, blue stocking spinster who has given up on love and resigned herself to playing her part. She’s stiff and hard and at times cold and aloof. But as we get to know her we see more and more of her true self. Her loving nature, her faith in people, her unwillingness to abandon those she loves.
James…. well, I have to note first that James is a peacock. He dresses in bold and embellished clothes, wears gaudy jewelry and heels. He is the first hero I’ve read that is downright colorful and beautiful. And yet he manages to be hot as hell. It was oddly charming to me and unexpectedly amped up his sex appeal.
I mostly mention this, because this surface appearance is integral to his character. He’s a completely ridiculous and frivolous man. One might think he’s living it up as a nobleman and fitting in with the crowd. But never has anyone cared less about propriety or appearances. In fact, he actively sets out be noticed in a negative way. His life’s mission is to embarrass his father and all of this plays into that.
Of course, his outrageous appearance and the antics and mayhem he purposely generates all around him is a way to avoid what’s underneath. And when he meets Lydia, she’s the first person to not only call him out, but to see what truly lies beneath.
In truth, James is a man with an incredible amount of pain inside. Pain he is unable to fix or forget. And Lydia, is battling her own pain. Abandonment and rejection are similar themes in both their lives. But while James is noticed by everyone and for all the wrong reasons, Lydia is near invisible and forgotten. And it’s only through the two of them coming together that they become who they really are.
This book was definitely more from the Lydia’s perspective. And to be honest, I was dying to get more from James’s point of view. I wanted to hear so badly how he was feeling about her and I kept not getting it for most of the book. I was thinking it would make me knock off a star. But then I realized this lack of detail did something special in this book. It made me analyze his actions more. Feel Lydia’s doubt and insecurities more. It was more like the one sidedness you get in your own relationships. Very often the heroes actions are ambiguous and if not for the book being a romance or getting the truth straight from inside their minds, you wouldn’t know how they were feeling. But here, it was so obvious by his actions that he was falling in love that in many ways I was happy for not getting the inner workings of his mind. Lydia truly had to figure it out for herself up until the point he said what he needed to say out loud. It upped the ante and the angst in the perfect way.
And actually it made sense for James’s character. Because he’s a man who doesn’t like to think about anything. Then when he does think and all those realizations start opening up in his mind, the combination of his actions and feelings emphasized how he was coming completely undone over her and how his heart just opened up and let her inside.
This book was definitely the steamiest of the three I’ve read now. Her love scenes are always so well developed and beautiful. She gives you enough information to know exactly what’s going on, but it’s the emotional quality that takes it up a notch. I don’t think I can say her books are filled with sexual tension. There is some of that. But in between, the character development takes a front seat. Their thoughts and feeling, the inner turmoil, their revelations and realizations, what they think and how they feel about each other… how they feel about themselves. Those are always the richest parts of her books. And it’s what leaves me thinking about them long after I’ve put them down.
Hero Type: Beta
Heroine Type: Alpha
Language: Explicit without swearing.
Number of sex scenes: lots of touches, multiple kisses, 1 below the belt scene with clothes on, 2 clothes off scenes.