I think if I ever had one question regarding PATIENCE then it would be if it could deliver that same emotional rush as PASSION gave me. So the minute I held my copy of PATIENCE in my hand was the minute I signed off on real life and immersed myself in the time of England anno 1851. There, Matthew Morgan Hawkmore and Patience Emmaline Dare, tell a story where their deep sated needs and desires awaken to complete and heal their heart, mind, body and soul. I found out that, once again, Lisa Valdez equals pushing the envelope with formidable characters and a potent, extraordinary and sensuous storyline!
The back story of Matthews's revealed parentage provided a back and forth maneuvering of power play between Matthew and Benchley. Yet it is from the very first chapter that I was mesmerized by the acute attraction flowing between Matthew and Patience. Their budding relationship is at the heart of PATIENCE, it is one where a Dominant uses his carefully yet adamant ministrations to see to the emotional maturing of a woman coming in to her own. It is with a poignant elegance that Lisa Valdez captured the image of two people who completed each other, but for them to reach that destination they had a lot of soul searching to do.
I couldn't get enough of the internal warring of emotions with Matthew. At one hand he wanted to re-claim his honor and make a statement that he was still a man of worth, at the other hand he was completely absorbed by his new feelings towards Patience. Her view on life, her intellect, her personality and her submission were answers to all his dreams he ever had of a loving future. He uses all sides of Domination; from wrapping up Patience in gentle caring, to swatting her a** in punishment. From gentle persuading to simply commanding and always, always teaching and reassuring Patience of the strength that lies in her submission.
Patience is a woman on a crossroad in her life and she boldly chooses Matthew, only what that included is something she only felt on an instinctual level. She comes with boundaries and wounds buried for years that need to surface before she can be whole again. Patience is a high spirited woman, one who is wooed by one and all for her great beauty and all she craves is a man whose arms are strong enough to hold her, nurture her in all her needs, even if she doesn't know exactly what they are. Alongside the courage also doubts and fears coursed through Patience veins about her deepest desires and sense of self, while through Matthews coursed a burning need for revenge that was alternated with his deeply ingrained need to Dominate, love and take care. They are flawed, have their quirks, but for every man there is a woman and Patience was Matthews.
It is safe to say that Matthew and Patience enraptured me in their chemistry, emotions peaked for me with them playing the cello, with a simple act of Matthew dressing Patience, when boundaries were breeched and old pain surfaced, or upon the first time I love you's were said. These moments, and many more, were steeped with such an underlying meaning and feelings that I couldn't get enough of it and created a depth that took a life of its own in this story. This isn't a simple love story, it is layered and complex and I took my time with unraveling these two formidable characters. As I was immersed in the romance I felt the "revenge" part was taking a back seat and there was even a moment in the story, towards the end, where I thought the solution was too easy. Only then did I get an `all or nothing moment' where I had to take out my tissues for perhaps the second or third time. Lisa Valdez doesn't do easy for her characters, she stays true to their nature and Matthew had to go rock bottom to realize a few truths all on his own. If there is one thing that makes the romance intensely experienced by me than it is a couple that has to overcome great struggles and I feel Matthew and Patience had to go through deep valleys to come up at the other end with a love stronger then oak.
There is also a moment between Passion and Patience that rattled me and conveyed their tight knit family bond as sisters. While there isn't actually much dialogue going on between Passion and Patience throughout the story it is the ones that they have that speak of a deep caring between them. While there are family and friends surrounding the main couple, and the Bon Ton is ever present, there are two characters who stood out for me; Fitz Roy, somehow this male persona intrigues me with his observations and actions. And then there's aunt Matty with her own life's wisdom and obtaining what her nieces need. She was definitely a fun note in an otherwise intense story.
While I feel like I'm upholding my "I love PATIENCE banner" proudly there was the bible quoting of Patience that irked me at times. She is a vicar daughter but for me it was simply something that wasn't needed, Patience morals already made me believe she was a vicar's daughter, made her believable that way. No need to smack me with the quotes. Of course the distinct erotic descriptions were also evident with the regular use of the more crude words for male and female parts but for me it is part and parcel of reading a novel from Lisa Valdez's hand.
PATIENCE, though so very different in story, erotica theme and characters had one common denominator with PASSION, and that is the beautiful writing voice of Lisa Valdez. I am an avid reader of the Dom/sub relationship and I felt the commanding voice of Matthew and the need quivering in Patience for submitting. Lisa Valdez created a D/s relationship with raw emotional moments alternated with tender ones, passionate ones, defiant ones and the moments where a love grew that could heal the souls of two people who come to mean so much to me by the end of this story.
In its own unique way PATIENCE delivered the same bold, emotional and sensuous story as its predecessor, PASSION. Now I await Lisa Valdez's writing once again with Primrose story.