After Rose's parents died a few years ago, her 13 year old brother was left without a great outlook in life when most of their money went to cover the family debt. Without many options, Rose decides to take control of her life, and sell her body. A profession where she comes to realize leaves her with little control at all. After two unsuccessful protectors (one married, one abusive) she finds Madame Rubicon's brothel and has been employed there for the past four years. Being beautiful, and having experience, she only needs to work seven days out of each month and then she is able to retire to her country house for the remaining three weeks, and spend her hard earned money covering her brother's luxurious lifestyle.
James Archer has become very wealthy in trade. He is a commoner though, no titles in his family. His father gave him his shipping company and James is set for life, although works extremely hard. Wanting his younger sister to have every advantage, he knew he had marry someone titled. He ends up marrying Amelia, a daughter of an earl. Now his sister is able to have a coming out season, but James is paying for it emotionally. After his wife told him to come no where near her at their wedding breakfast, and she parades her lovers in front of him, James has turned to work, to hide, and forget about his life at home. He is so lonely for attention, and for a woman's touch after three miserable years of marriage, that he finds himself at Rubicon's. He has never been unfaithful to his wife, until this night and he promises himself it will only be this once.
It is here he meets Rose, and they both are surprised at who they find. James treats Rose with respect, and dignity, yet he still lusts after her something fierce. They become friends, and deeper feelings start to run, but at the same time James is still paying for her services, and the word whore is always on Rose's mind.
I loved Seven Nights to Forever. James and Rose are two of the sweetest, most adorable characters I have read about in quite some time. First of all, I love that Rose is a prostitute. It might sound weird to say that, but it is just so different in a historical romance. There is no pretending - she has been a prostitute for four years and that is just the way things are. She doesn't like it, but it allows her to only work one week a month and take care and spoil her younger brother.
When James comes to her he is at the end of his patience. It's tricky to write this story with James married. But, Evangeline Collins makes James's wife so despicable, that honestly, you can't help but push him towards Rose. When he is asked by Rubicon what kind of woman he wants, his first thought is "someone kind." It is heartbreaking to read when he is touched for the first time, or even just held in Rose's arms. He has lived a solitary life for so long, and has to live with a passive façade around his wife, who has shamed him so much. When Rose opens her arms to him, it is so beautiful.
And although there are many romantic, very sexy scenes, I also love that during most of the book, James is still paying for Rose. It is never forgotten that she has been with a countless number of men. When Rose performs a sexual act on James, he can't help but think about how many other men she had done this with. They both wish they had been each other's first, but that is not the reality. And when James takes Rose out of her environment, Rose doesn't know how to act. She doesn't know how to just be a woman, always questioning herself as to what James would want. So - it is not like they meet and everything is rainbows and flowers. It's a struggle to mentally remove Rose from being a prostitute and I think Evangeline Collins handles that extremely well.
My only wish is that the ending conflict with Amelia would have been more explosive. I felt like for as evil, and conniving her character is portrayed, she didn't put up enough fight at the end.
Seven Nights to Forever is one of my favorite historical romances I have read this year because of the beautiful characters Evangeline Collins gives us. I highly recommend this one.