Read with: NA
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Hero: March Addison
Heroine: Eulalie Pritchard
Date of Publication: June 5, 1991
Started On: December 30, 2013
Finished On: January 5, 2014
Emerald Rain by Maggie Osborne is one of those romances that reaffirms my belief in the reason why romance would always be my preferred genre to read. I had almost but not quite, forgotten just how good a Maggie Osborne romance could be and why I had actually spent a small fortune in acquiring these out of print titles of hers for my collection. Even those novels that can be considered lackluster when it comes to Maggie Osborne are titles that still gives you a read to remember. This being otherwise I would say made a wonderful start to my reading for the year 2014!
24 year old Eulalie Pritchard (Lalie) makes her way to Brazil to follow her fiance’ to Hiberalta, a journey that would take her through the perilous Amazon jungle and the river that runs through it. Lalie lives by the strict rules of English society, her prim and properness a facet to her character that irritates March Addison from the first moment he lays eyes on her. The son of Earl of Addison, March has carved a name for himself in the Amazon as a renowned businessman in the booming rubber industry in Brazil and Lalie believes that nothing of the gentleman she had encountered 10 years back lives inside of him now.
Lalie expects the rough around the edges March to ferry her up to Hiberalta as quickly as possible and March in return expects fluff of her kind to depart from the country within a week. Both Lalie and March have surprises in store for the other as a trip that takes 3-5 months to complete bares everyone aboard down to their very basics. Living primitively does the one thing that wouldn’t be obvious while living in polite society, and that is to bring to light all the characteristics, good and the bad that drives a person. And that is exactly what happens when March takes Lalie on board despite all the misgivings he has when it comes to the most infuriating, beautiful and enticing woman he has ever come across all his life.
Lalie is determined if nothing else to live, to never be labeled as the woman who never lived a full life. Her infatuation with her fiance is seemingly what drives Lalie to seek the trip on her own but as the days fade into weeks, just like the rules of propriety that Lalie was determined to stick to at the beginning of the trip are stripped away one by one, feelings of the most wanton and unexpected variety seems to fill her heart, body and soul where March is concerned.
As swift as the currents in the Amazon that propels their vessel forward, so does the desire that explodes to surface where March and Lalie are concerned, a desire that is as primitive as the Indians that live amidst the jungle that surrounds the waters. Maggie Osborne always does a remarkable job in creating her heroes and March Addison is another exemplary specimen. One can almost imagine the sinewiness to his musculature, his sensual lips and the totally alpha male vibe that just seems to cling to him. His strength of character is one of the many things that made him an appealing hero and his honor one that made me fall irrevocably in love with him.
Lalie’s character makes me remember a friend of mine whose sheer determination carries her through a lot of hurdles in her life. Lalie who has had a privileged upbringing, is in short, a dreamer. Having seen her fiance through the eyes of infatuation, Lalie had missed out on the crucial aspects of his character to which she is brutally made aware of as the time of reckoning draws closer. While her heart, mind, body and soul yearns for the touch of the man who should be all sorts of wrong for her, Lalie is determined that she keep her word where her fiance is concerned. There were many a times that I literally burst out in laughter due to Lalie’s sometimes innocent and yet honest to God nature that she tries to hide behind all the rules of propriety. Lalie has the sort of hidden sensuality that would drive any red blooded man insane with wanting and that is the kind of wanting that leaves March reeling from the sheer force of it all.
The sexual tension wrought in the novel is top notch, one that made me sigh, squirm and want to prolong the read as much as possible. And one reason I love Osborne novels so much is that she is not afraid to deliver on the said tension when the time comes. And believe me, all that sexual tension Osborne puts the reader through was worth every nail biting moment of it and I was sighing all throughout every beautiful second of it.
Final Verdict: Sensuous and a whole lot of adventurous; Maggie Osborne delivers a tale as steamy as the Amazon itself. Not to be missed!
A moaning sound came from her parted lips. Her breasts were thrust against his chest as her head fell backward and her eyes closed. Her fingers dug into his shoulders and her legs wrapped around his, pulling him more tightly against her until his erection throbbed between them, a rigid strength pressing against her soft, yielding body.
“Lalie,” he whispered. He slid one hand to the small of her back and held her pressed against him, his other hand moved slowly to cup her breast, teasing the hard nipple. Her breath was as rapid and choked as his when she met his eyes with a look filled with helpless urgency.
With tormenting slowness, exercising a patience and tenderness he had not known he possessed, he moved his month and tongue over her throat, teasing upward toward the swollen promise of her lips. His hand slid up her back go cup her small head.
“Oh my god March… March..”
Her words emerged part sob, part plea, and her body tightened around his.
Then she raised her face to his clenched jaw, his hard mouth, and finally defenseless, she surrendered to the dark eyes burning down into hers. Their stared locked and held. Her breast rose and trembled on a dry, scorching breath. A yearning sound almost like a sob caught in her throat.
And she wanted.
Her body moved against his; her hands rose and she buried her fingers in his thick hair as her mouth opened beneath his to receive his plundering tongue. Gasping, almost sobbing with the bliss and relief of finally knowing his kiss, Lalie clung to him, pulled him closer, closer, as if she could absorb him, as if by holding him tightly she could make this feverish moment last forever.
“On those nights when sleep won’t come, I’ll lie in my bed and remember the softness of your breast, the sweet curve of your waist. I’ll remember the lagoon, the sunshine on your eyelids. I’ll remember the taste of your skin and the scent of your hair… and I’ll wonder.”
“I’ll make love to other women, Lalie, but they won’t be you. I’ll feel that loss and wonder. All my life I will remember you and regret that I didn’t have you. All my life I will wonder at the feel and touch and scent of you. I will wonder if you would have cried my name. I will wonder if I would have given you pleasure. I will wonder and mourn my loss.”