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Publisher Description

He charged out of the darkness to her rescue …

Amelia Grant has just escaped her lecherous employer with nothing but the clothes on her back. In the predawn hours of London, a horse and carriage come barreling down on her, and a stranger rushes to her aid, sweeping her off her feet …

There is something dark and dangerous about Nicholas Riley. With eyes gray like flint and hard as steel, he's unusual … beautiful. The intensity behind his gaze makes her feel like the only person in the world. And then he whispers …

"I want your complete surrender."

May 5
Avon Impulse

Customer Reviews

glhince ,

there was no conclusion, the cliffhanger came from my indecision and unsettled thoughts

Welcome to Victorian London where Amelia Grant has just left, rather quickly, her position as governess after an untoward advance from a lecherous employer. Out on the street at night, with few options and many dangers, she is nearly run down by the carriage of Nicholas.

After seeing to her injuries and offering her food, shelter and a position, Amelia believes she is safe with the curiously helpful, handsome and obviously take-charge grey eyed man.

The writing in this is solid: Clare’s writing is competent and her descriptions are evocative. My issue is with the characters. Amelia has just removed herself from an incredibly dangerous and traumatic situation, only to find herself in hotter water. Now, even taking into account the time and the limited options available to women, Nicholas just seemed to be preying on her reduced circumstances.

Amelia quickly recovers from her trauma, not with great aid from Nicholas, but seemingly just sweeping it away due to her feelings for her savior. And he doesn’t help the situation any by his outright refusal to entertain contemplation or questions about himself, his past or his intentions.

When I mixed those nagging feelings with the fact that there really is no conclusion, nor real cliffhanger, as this is the first of a novel in three parts, I was uncomfortable with the actions of Amelia and Nicholas. While not decidedly a story of dubious consent, my sense of Amelia having NO other options but Nicholas and his plans, I’m torn between the enjoyment of the writing and the slow build of tension and the ick factor I get from Nicholas’ predatory vibe.

There is heat (plenty of it) that, that didn’t resolve my conflicted feelings: Amelia was initially purported to be an innocent, but fell right into Nick’s plans of seduction and domination, without major halts from the trauma of her last employer’s actions or her implied innocence to all things sexual.

I’m still conflicted about my thoughts days later. In many ways, the tension and writing are gripping and hard to walk away from. But, Clare’s depiction of the relationship left me ping-ponging between ooh and eeew moments, much to her credit, leaving me unsettled, even as I couldn’t put the book down. I’m curious to see where the full story goes, this is just part one of the three part story, and while there was no conclusion, the cliffhanger came from my indecision and unsettled thoughts about the story, not the endpoint of this installment.

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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