Top critical review
Good, but not great...
on 27 February 2013
This is the first book I've read by this author, but I didn't feel the need to have read the others in order to understand who people were, as the author gives enough information.
The story begins with letters being exchanged between the teenage Olivia Carsington and Peregrine Dalmay, the Earl of Lisle. We know them from previous books as children from the other protagonists, who often got into mischief together. Lisle is back in England after spending many years in Egypt with his aunt, but his parents have missed him so much, that they tell him to go north to Scotland to see their ancestral home, a castle, which many believe is haunted. Lisle doesn't believe in ghosts, and goes to a ball, only to find the Olivia he once knew as a skinny girl, has now blossomed into a beautiful, curvy woman, who has an army of admirers around her. They get reacquainted, and Lisle finds it hard to ignore his attraction to the person who used to be his best friend.
Olivia is drawn to Lisle, now he's all grown up and become a man. He stands out from the other English gentlemen, with his bronzed skin from his time in Egypt. She learns of his parents plans, and his reluctance to go. But Olivia worms her way into Lisle's parents' good books, and soon she, a couple of elderly, yet naughty chaperones and a gobsmacked Lisle, are on their way to Scotland.
They have their share of fights, whilst trying to fight their growing attractions. Kisses are stolen, only for each to admit they're mistakes, even though deep down they want more. But the mistakes keep repeating, and when the mysteries surrounding the castle have an effect on Olivia's life, Lisle realises he loves her. But can a man who's mistress is Egypt ever learn to put the woman he loves first?
Overall, the book was good, but not great. Olivia is hotheaded, and acts like a teenager, despite her 23 years. But we learn she doesn't want to be pushed into marriage, and yearns for the adventurous life Lisle has had, and doesn't understand why he has all the fun, which makes you sympathise with her.
Lisle is good, but I can see why Olivia was annoyed with his practicality at times, although I liked the part where Lisle got into a fight with another man over her. Olivia, meanwhile, just wanted them to hurry up and get it over and done with!
The two elerly chaperones were funny, and often talked about their 'wild' youth.
However, I was confused why Olivia never called Lisle by his first name. Often in romances, especially when couples get close, they call each other by their first names, but she always called him Lisle. Doesn't he like his name or something? I admit, Peregrine is a little kooky, but since we're not told for sure, I don't know.