Thank you for those reviewers who gave me some insight into this book. The characters are different from the 'older' romance books as well as the staid formulas of so many historicals and one of the reason's I quit reading them a long time ago. But this book was worth going back into the genre'.
There are many differences from the basic plot lines that make this story just not feel or sound so familiar.
One of the differences is in the characters----
First, the hero is far less than physically perfect, a first for me after reading bizillion's of 'romance' novels. I don't mean just a mild problem either, but something heartwrenching even by today's standards. Sadly, in so many of the formulamatic HR's, the worst any hero had to deal with was maybe an eye patch and a facial scar that just, well, made him look sooo much better in the end.
But this hero will just about tear your heart out. I don't know, but the term tortured for the first time really seems to apply here. For me, I was actually aching from the descriptions.
Secondly, the heroine is well, not a spring chicken and not pure as snow. OK, so I'm old enough to be her mama, but still..
As a woman who is no longer young or a virgin, the 'first time virgin bedding' of some books was getting a bit tedious to say the least. And boring.
Purity can be dull because it can also mean a character without facets. But she has many layers, lots of personality and you can see why the hero has fallen for her. She's also, GASTHP!!! pretty outgoing sexually. Not in a skanky manner either, but in a loving, generous, "I really do care for you and want to make you happy" way that just makes you like her all the more.
WG is also different in the intent and context---too often we have the woman jumping through hoops to win the man's love. Or we have the tortured Alpha-male that is fighting his feelings. Or we have a couple that hasn't figured out yet how they feel for each other. Predictable to the in'th degree and often frustrating.
Well, this just sets the whole pattern on its ear. Not only do we have a hero that adores the heroine, but Oh my, the degree is so intense.... It had me in tears in a few places.
Lastly, the book is very erotic, but it's so right with these two characters. It adds to and flows with the story line....
WARNING- For those who think this book is pornographic, erm...PLEASE don't go near anything by Kenyon, Moning, Knight, Feehan, Howard etc, and stay the HECK away from Ellora's Cave. You'll be toast.
So, on a rating of 1 to 10, with 10 being burn the house down Angela Knight and 1 being genteel Woodiwiss...this book is about a 6 or 7. OK, maybe more a 8. But a very sweet 8 ;)
Lastly, the ending will have you squalling. The next to the last chapter was dang near heartbreaking for me (geez, I'm just a marshmallow). But the last chapter is so sweet. I found myself afterwards going back to re-read it several times.
OK, recommended for not being predictable, not being a boring HR that is so overdone that my teeth hurt at the covers alone, having very different characters, absolutely fabulous eroticism and lastly, a sweetness that permeates the book and just makes it a joy to read.