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Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Warner Books
Hero: Sebastian, Earl of Moorland
Heroine: Jewel Combs / Julia Stratham
Date of Publication: December 1, 1986
Started On: April 16, 2010
Finished On: April 18, 2010
Loving Julia is one of the best historical romances from Ms. Robards. Though the fact that a 30 something year old hero seducing a merely 16 year old girl was a bit of an icky factor for me, the romance, passion and suspense in the book made it a winner for me.
Loving Julia is the story of Jewel Combs, a common street thief who thieved for survival and lived amongst the roughnecks in the less savory neighborhoods in London. Fate brings Jewel into the homes of Sebastian, the Earl of Moorland. Sebastian is a man who for all eyes to see has everything a man might want in life. Rich and handsome beyond belief, he is a man haunted by a past he cannot undo. With a wife whose death has always been blamed on him, with a daughter who screams in utter fear at the very sight of him and a mother who loathes his very existence, Sebastian is the ultimate tortured hero.
Sebastian takes Jewel Combs under his guardianship as a means of entertaining himself. The prospect of transforming Jewel Combs, the common thief into Julia Stratham a lady worthy of complete adoration of the ton seems to be a challenge enough for Sebastian to keep the boredom and the loneliness at bay. However, his best-laid plans take a turn he never expected when he ultimately finds himself ensnared by the wonderful woman Julia turns out to be.
Jewel who has always been starved for affection blossoms under the direction of Sebastian who for the world of him can’t figure out what it is that draws him to Jewel. As fate would have it, the combustive passion between the two finally forces Sebastian to acknowledge that no matter how cold and aloof he might try to act around Jewel, its a mission well worth giving up with all the emotions Jewel seems to be able to invoke in him with little effort.
When Sebastian takes everything Jewel has to offer and casts her aside like a piece of soiled cloth, Jewel vows that he would never lay a finger on her ever again. However love has ways of creeping into one’s heart and catching them unawares which is exactly what happens to Jewel. And from that moment onwards, Jewel vows to make Sebastian fall as much in love with her as she is in love with him.
The drama and antics that Jewel goes through to make Sebastian hers, the unfolding story of how Elizabeth, Sebastian’s first wife was killed and how Chloe, Sebastian’s daughter finally comes around makes this story an engrossing read. Glad that Ms. Robards didn’t paint Sebastian as a complete utter rogue who cruelly hurts his women emotionally as some of Ms. Robard’s historical romances are famous for.
Good romance, recommended for those who love stories of tortured heroes and the gutsy heroines that concur them in the end.