Review: Mistress of the Night by Charlotte Featherstone

Format: E-bookmistressofthenight
Read with: Adobe Reader for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
Hero: Blaine Ashbourne
Heroine: Madeline Brydges
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 1, 2005
Started On: November 11, 2015
Finished On: November 12, 2015

Charlotte Featherstone is an author who got on my radar with her book Sinful. Her decision to not take the easy way out when she crafted the hero in the story won my wholehearted approval. Even though the books that I have read from her since then haven’t lived up to the mark, Mistress of the Night caught my eye because there was just something about the description of the story that got to me. The reclusive hero described? Yes. The heroine who wants him and no other? Oh, hell yes!

Blaine Ashbourne, even though he is part of the elite ton, is someone who keeps himself far removed from everything that goes on in those circles. He keeps close to himself a secret that he would rather die than get out, knowing that it would be one not at all well received. It is his bid to look out for his niece that lands himself in this ball and that, directly in the sight of Madeline Brydges, the woman he observes without being obvious about it, or so he thinks, his hunger for her something that shocks even himself.

Madeline has no choice but to snare herself the husband that her father insists that she find. But the only man whom she is going to get herself married to is none other than the Earl of Ashbourne, a man who is seemingly as reticent as they come. But with every encounter that proves otherwise, Blaine and Madeline seduces and get seduced by each other, while Blaine believes that a blissfully wedded future with anyone, much less Madeline is not for the likes of him.

Mistress of the Night is a story that had such potential. Charlotte’s flair for the dirty talking hero and sex scenes that practically melt you on the insides were all present in the story. But it fell short of delivering on what it could have been. I felt a tad disappointed and a wee cheated by the time I finished reading the book, though it is a testament to the writing that I finished the book in just one sitting. Perhaps my problem was with the huge differences between how the book was described in the blurb and how it actually materialized later on.

Blaine is someone who has had fear instilled in his heart by his father. A father who had been devastated that the only son he had ever had turned out to be less than perfect. Blaine’s tortured soul heals under the touch of Madeline, but he refuses to let her in too deep, for the fear that she might discover the secret that he keeps from almost everyone. Madeline’s actions towards the latter part of the novel also might be one of the reasons why I couldn’t really say I loved what happened, though I did understand that desperate times called for desperate measures. Nonetheless, Mistress of the Night turned out to be an enjoyable read, recommended for those that love this author.

Final Verdict: Delivers scrumptious scenes of passion, true to Charlotte Featherstone style!

Favorite Quotes

“I wanted that dance to be with you, Maddy. The whole time I was dancing with her I thought only of you, wishing we were the only two people in the room so that I might do this to you.”
Her pulse leapt and surged as he continued to caress her neck, his fingers, light and teasing trailed down her throat, stopping at the peak of her breast, only to travel back up the column of her throat.
“Tell me,” he said, bringing her back tight against his chest, his tongue, hot and teasing flicked along her bounding pulse. “What is it you desire?”

“God, how I want this,” he said thickly, stroking his thumb along her nipple, making it pebble hard. “And this.” he slid his hand down her bodice to the flat plane of her belly where he kneaded the small mound. “And this,” his voice was a low rumble in her ear as his fingers traced the curls of her sex through her thin gown. “I want this so much. So much so that I cannot sleep. So much that I am constantly thinking of you, of your lips, your flame red hair, the way your skin feels. So much that I lie awake, hard and aroused, torturing myself with thoughts of how you will feel beneath my hands, my lips, my body. I dream of how you will taste, Madeline. I dream of the taste of your sex, the feel of you on my tongue. Tell me, would you let me taste the desire I create within you?” A whimper caught in her throat and he tightened his hold on her while he kissed her shoulder. “Tell me what you want, Maddy.”

“Make love to me, Maddy. Show me what it is like.”
She didn’t know what he wanted, but he showed her. He sat in the chair and brought her down atop him. Cupping her bottom he showed her how to ride him and when she had the right of it, she caught his hands in hers and clutched them tight. She captured his gaze, holding it as she loved him, and she thought she saw his eyes fill with more than desire. She thought she saw love shining back at her, but then he blinked it away and reached for her and slid himself out of her body, emptying his seed on to his own belly. He clutched her to him and he held on to her like a drowning man holds on to a lifeline.
“Mine,” he whispered into her hair and she knew then that she was his lifeline in a sense. Something profound had happened.

“It’s very warm, isn’t it?” Madeline asked, fanning her bosom with her hand.
Blaine couldn’t help but watch that delicate hand as it whispered slowly back and forth and over the exposed mounds of her breasts, of which, the bodice of her French gown did little to hide. “Wouldn’t you agree, my lord?”
“Huh?” The word was a strangled huff, torn from his throat when one of her fingers traced the length of him through his trousers. Thank God the table was shielding them and thank God no one but Madeline could see the reaction her boldness was having on him.
“Are you warm, too?” she asked, looking up at him through her veil of copper lashes.
Warm? Sweet Jesus, he was on fire.

“Tell me,” she whispered again, “tell me where you want to come. My belly?”
She licked him and swirled the tip of her around the head of his cock. “My breasts,” his gaze lowered to her rounded breasts that were swinging with her movements and he captured them in his hands and let go of them with a small, gentle slap, watching as they swayed faster. She purred as he repeated the motion, this time a little faster, a little harder, and his cock swelled further in her hand. “My throat?” she asked, her hot breath caressing his shaft, forcing his gaze away from her breasts only to see her tongue curl around the rimmed cap of his cock. “My mouth,” she teased in a deep, wanton whisper.
He closed his eyes and wrapped his hand in her hair. “Yes,” he said, filling her mouth with his cock. “Your pretty mouth.”

“Look at me.” She did, her beautiful eyes glazed with passion and need. “Watch.”
And then he sunk himself to the hilt inside her tight, wet sheath in one powerful stroke. Her eyes widened and her lips parted on a silent moan. “So damn beautiful, and you’re mine,” he whispered, holding her gaze, watching the tremors of pleasure flicker along her face with every one of his thrusts. “You’re all mine, aren’t you, Maddy? Just mine.”
“Yes,” she breathed against his neck, her pants matching the rhythm of his
“Forever, Madeline?” he asked, mindless with need, careless with his words as he forced himself inside her. “Because it has to be forever.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N


Review: Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick

Format: E-bookhotinhere
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: NAL Trade
Hero: Bryce Ryder
Heroine: Jenna McCabe
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: June 2, 2009
Started On: March 29, 2012
Finished On: March 30, 2012

Hot in Here by Sophie Renwick is a title that has been sitting like forever in my to-be-read pile. Somehow I ended up reading a couple of pages into this romance penned by author Sophie Renwick aka Charlotte Featherstone that managed to grab my attention and hold on to it just because of the hero Bryce Ryder of whom I could not get enough.

27 year old Jenna McCabe who is to turn 28 that very night is a woman on a mission. That is the mission of making the man who has been in her heart for 10 long years fall in love with her. But Jenna knows in her heart Bryce would not be a man who would succumb that easily to happily ever after, given the number the one woman he had trusted had done on him.

Bryce might want to lump Jenna his childhood friend into the category of women he considers as sisters. Even though Bryce would rather die than admit that his attention towards Jenna had veered off course every now and again, Bryce is steadfast in his belief that nothing good would ever come out of tangling with the likes of Jenna who would want much more than he is capable of offering.

What surprises Bryce and Jenna both the night she turns 28 is the way their passion for each other practically sets both of them afire, leaving them both wanting more. But Jenna has a plan, a plan that would draw Bryce towards her and finally accept her as his one and only and it doesn’t include her being available for Bryce at the drop of a hat.

Bryce is confused as to the hows and whys of the way he cannot get enough of his long time friend Jenna. The way her body seems to respond to his every caress and touch drives him crazy and for the first time in 5 long years Bryce considers the prospect of turning his life around and settling down. But the new Jenna that emerges after their night of feasting on each other is one that has no resemblance whatsoever to the woman who appeals to his senses and who owns his heart more than he lets on.

For a woman who professes to have loved Bryce almost half her life, Jenna surely has a funny way of showing it to him. The reason I lowered the book’s rating to 4-stars was because I just couldn’t handle the way Jenna acted towards Bryce for the most part of the book. While Bryce is the person who is portrayed as the guy who loves to sleep around, who doesn’t empathize and doesn’t want to forge a deeper emotional connection with any woman, it is Jenna’s character that seemed shallow to me.

Yes, Bryce might want to indulge and immerse himself in the heady sensation of being thoroughly satisfied in the sack. But that doesn’t mean he is not sensitive towards others. He might be a tad arrogant and pushy but the love he has for the food that he cooks up is just to die for. What I had a problem with was how ready Jenna was to lump him with men who wouldn’t understand or give two cents about her emotions when she has known Bryce for far longer and knows who he really is. If I had been Jenna, I would have grabbed Bryce with both my hands and never ever looked back!

For me, the best thing about the novel was Bryce Ryder. He has that undefinable quality that makes a hero worth your time and the desire that he feels for Jenna is a vivid and all encompassing one that just left me breathless at all times. When Bryce steps into the picture, you know instinctively that you are in for the ride of a lifetime and Sophie Renwick has done such a swell job in bringing his character to life.

As soon as I finished Hot in Here, the question that popped into my mind was what happened to Trey and Sarah who definitely needs their own story. They have got so much pent up desire for each other that I would dearly love to see what Sophie can do with their story.

Recommended for those who love highly sensual and erotic contemporary romances with a hero who can cook up a storm. 

Hot in Here is a sumptuous feast for all your senses. Trust me on that.

Favorite Quotes

She could hardly believe it, not after ten years, but they were finally making out on her couch. And Holy Mother of God, Bryce Ryder could kiss!
He was slow and lazy with his kisses, but masterful. His tongue and fingers were thrusting forward and back, in and out, mimicking sex, winding her up so tight until she was rubbing her pussy against his hand while clutching his hair. More . . . she had to have more.

Parting her sex, he stroked her clitoris with the tip of his forefinger. She moaned and twisted, but he held her in place with one hand on her hip as he penetrated her deep and slow. Over and over he stroked her clit, finding the rhythm she liked, and soon she was riding him hard and wanton, just as he hoped she would.

“Bryce!” Jenna heard the arousal and need in her voice as Bryce thrust into her. His breathing was harsh, and she looked over her shoulder and saw that his gaze was fixed on his c#ck entering her. In that second she knew she’d never see anything as sexy as Bryce taking her like that.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB


Score Sheet Review: A Very Sinful Valentine by Charlotte Featherstone

Format: E-bookSinful
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Series: Sinful
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Matthew Wallingford
Heroine: Jane Rankin
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: February 2012
Started On: March 5, 2012
Finished On: March 5, 2012

The hero 100 A
The heroine 100 A
Story line 100 A
Emotional Intensity 100 A
Suck me in Factor 100 A
Heat & Sensuality  100 A
Conflicts 100 A
Writing Style 100 A
Quotable Factor 100 A
Ending 100 A
Overall Grade 100 A

Score Sheet Summary

Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone is one of those novels that I ended up loving to death. A hero that I could not get enough of, a heroine who was his match in every single way and sensual scenes penned so vividly and erotically that it took my very breathe away, needless to say, Sinful is a novel that I would remember till the end of time.

So it was to my delightful surprise that a friend on Goodreads alerted me to this delicious number released I guess in time for Valentines Day and I am so thankful that Charlotte Featherstone like myself hasn’t forgotten the impact that Matthew has on the female senses.

This little novella finds Matthew basking in wedded bliss so to speak with that untamed wildness within him roaring its head because his beloved wife Jane has been avoiding him for the past 3 months. A man who has a voracious appetite for anything and everything to do with carnal desires of the flesh, Jane had been the woman to bring him down to his knees and possess his heart for all eternity. So it is a brooding Matthew we find ourselves with, dangerous and turbulent emotions swirling deep inside of him, all the while wrecking his brains trying to think up the reason why his strong and brave Jane suddenly seems to be without the very fire that stirs him up.

Jane has her own reasons to be shy around Matthew. Giving birth has put its own toll on her body and needless to say a woman who thinks of herself plain when compared to a husband whose dark vivid good looks is the talk of the town has Jane hesitating to give herself over to her husband, even when she aches to do so.

What Matthew does is breathtaking in its eroticism, beautiful in the way that it brought everything female deep inside of me alive and had my senses humming all throughout. Every woman, and I mean every single woman deserves a man like Matthew who can love like he does, without reservations, without conditions, for time and eternity, until death does them apart. Let the sighing fest begin!

Cannot recommend this highly enough for those who love Matthew. He is the man!

Favorite Quotes

[Jane] “You know how I feel about you. About what we share. I did not mean it in such a way.”
“No?” he whispered wickedly, his gaze finding hers, latching on with strength and determination. “I don‟t believe you. I think you had better show me, Jane.” 
She kissed him, slow, lazily, her lips moving over his mouth, slowly winding, becoming deeper, sensual, and then slowly her tongue penetrated his mouth, touching his tongue, flicking around the tip of his. He groaned, wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed her up against his bulging phallus that felt so large and hard. Her core ached, needing that deep inside her.

“I’m a hedonist, and you, Jane, my wife, should know that about me. You’ve shared my body and bed, you know things about me that no other soul on earth does. Who can I not be a sensualist with than, you, Jane? Who else to act out my wicked fantasies, than the woman who inspires them? There is no shame in fantasies, in pleasure. Who other than us needs to know what we’ve done, what brings the other pleasure?”

[…] “But Jane, tonight I’m going to watch–and so are you. It will not be dark when I look upon you. There will be no clothes–only your skin. There will be no wiggling and squirming away from me. You will lie still and let me look. I will take as long as I want, gorge myself on the sight of you, and you will not resist. You will not utter one word to the contrary. You will accept everything I give you. And you will be loved, Jane. Loved so that you never forget that you are the only woman for me. You always have been. And you always will be.”

“Don’t” be shocked, Jane,” he murmured as he lifted her higher, and poised her at the tip of his cock. “Don‟t be embarrassed. Not with me. You‟re gorgeous, and everything about you is perfect.” 
She nodded, met his gaze, and they held each other as she sunk down slowly upon him, impaling herself.  
She cried out, her hand flying to her lower belly. 
“Feel me all the way up there, do you my love?” 
She nodded, began to move, and he let her, just felt her body move and undulate beneath his palms.

“Jane, look at me,” he asked, and when she did, he knew she was seeing what she needed in his eyes. 
“You are the only woman for me–it‟s only ever been you. I told you once before, that I have never loved before you, and I will never love again. Jane,” he said, forcing her face to down to his. “There is no condition on my love. No end to my desire. Don‟t put them there, my love.”

“Jane,” he whispered as the streaks of dawn broke through their bedroom window. “Once more. In the daylight, so I can see you with the sun upon your skin.”
And she rolled over, smiled, and held open her arms to him, welcoming him home at last.

Download Link: Mystic Castle


ARC Review: Seduction & Scandal by Charlotte Featherstone

Format: E-bookseductionandscandal
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Brethen Guardians, Book 1
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Jude Sheldon
Heroine: Isabella Fairmont
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 28, 2011
Started On: May 31, 2011
Finished On: June 22, 2011

Seduction and Scandal by Charlotte Featherstone is a novel that seems to have received its fair share of raving reviews prior to its release date which is set for the 28th of this month. The first book in The Brethen Guardian series, Featherstone introduces the reader into a world steeped in mystcism, religion, red-hot passion and love that is bound to make for an interesting and engrossing tale.

Seduction and Scandal introduces us to the three guardians whose life and the life of their sons are to remain in guarding secrets of the universe altering kind. Jude Sheldon i.e. Lord Black is a member of the three, someone who is tired of all the death that seems to follow him until everything else ceases to exist for him. When his life crosses paths with the beautiful Isabella Fairmont whose life is shrouded in scandal as well, Black wonders whether for the first time in his life he has found a partner who would share the darkness within which he resides right alongside with him.

Ten years younger than Lord Black, Isabella lives with her uncle and his daughter and her best friend Lucy, and suffers from vivid nightmares that has her distrustful of the shadows that linger deep into the night. Death has played a major role in her young life, taking away the two people who have meant the world to her. Her fascination and fear with Death manifests itself in the novel that she writes where Death becomes the hero that seduces the heroine in question until she is ready to surrender everything she has unto the hands of Death.

When her real life unfolds into events similar to that in her story, for someone like Isabella who has made it her life-long mission not to succumb to the wiles of rakes and men spouting poetry to lure women towards doom, Lord Black and his seductive advances pose a problem when all Isabella wants to do is give into the pleasure that she knows that only Lord Black can give her.

Lord Black is determined that the one thing he has come to yearn for in his otherwise bleak existence would not get away from him, even if it means coming out with the truth that binds Isabella and Black in their past. With Lord Black convinced of the danger to Isabella, the shadows behind which Black and his friends move within suddenly take a more sinister edge when the secrets that they have been guarding for so long lands in the hands of a mad man, who is willing to do everything and anything to attain ultimate power of the universe.

For me, Seduction and Scandal proved to be an interesting read. Though I had a few problems with the constant to and fro dance that Isabella plays with Lord Black and even though at a time or two I just felt like screaming “just get on with it”, Seduction and Scandal is a romance that has a lot going for it. From the adventure aspect to the dialogues to the characters that unfold, Seduction and Scandal exudes the talent and skill of Featherstone in weaving a tale that invokes complex emotions from the reader.

Recommended for fans of historical romances that promise to deliver something very different from the usual books that line your shelves and of course for the fans of Charlotte Featherstone.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Harlequin


Review: Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone

Format: E-booksinful
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Harlequin Spice
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Matthew Wallingford
Heroine: Jane Rankin
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: May 1, 2010
Started On: January 22, 2011
Finished On: January 23, 2011

First of all, let me just take a few minutes of my reviewing time to just gaze at this wonderful cover and salivate over it to my heart’s content. This has got to be one of the most beautiful covers on a romance novel and yes of course it helps that Matthew is displayed in all his glory on the cover.

Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone is a book that seems to have got its fair share of mixed reviews from readers. Most have loved the book until the ending which left them totally stunned in disbelief because its rare for a romance novel to end as this one did, though I have come across one other book with an ending such as this one when I read A Stranger’s Wife by Maggie Osborne. I believe I belong in the latter group of those who actually LOVED the story as it was, maybe because I was prepared for the story’s ending to be a shocker which didn’t really shock me that much in the end. And it might also have something to do with the fact that I have had prior experience with this type of ending and whilst it may not be the ideal conclusion for a romance, it is certainly different which has its own charm as well.

Sinful stars one of the most cynical and jaded heroes I have come across in my reading life. The Earl of Wallingford, Matthew is cynical to the max and has no qualms about admitting to himself that he is an unconscionable rake with insatiable appetites who finds the facade of Victorian morality a mockery. Having had seen very little goodness in his life, Matthew is as tortured a hero as they come. A father who had never liked what Matthew had been even as a boy with a mother who had finally grown tired of her husband’s continued criticism because of her son, Matthew had watched his mother leave a forlorn and lonely boy behind to go with her lover only to a die a horrible death by accident. Stunningly masculine with a face that is exceedingly handsome which holds a beauty that’s dark and sensual, Matthew is an artist, a fact that his father continually mocks. Matthew expects every woman he comes across to have a price for being with him whether it be an emotional or physical one and is used to being the one who can always shock polite society with his untoward behavior. But beneath all this lies a soul so very tortured by what he went through since he turned 15 years old; the experience leaving him unable to bear anyone’s touch on himself even though depravity is Matthew’s middle name.

Enter the 27 year old spinsterish Jane Rankin with her curly red hair sporting spectacles that hides her deep green eyes and a top lip that had been scarred by the back of a man’s hand. A woman of suspect birth with an aristocrat for a father to whom Jane’s mother Lucy has been mistress to, at the age of 7, Jane’s father had kicked his mistress and illegitimate child out leaving them destitute and homeless. Jane at that tender age had resolved that she would never become any man’s mistress nor would she allow a man to dictate her life. And its a resolution that Jane has stuck by even when the going had got tough. Salvation had come in the form of Lady Blackwood who had saved her from the streets and given her a life. A lady’s companion by day and a nurse at the London College Hospital by night, Jane is firmly rooted in her resolve to remain independent though at odd times she yearns for a man’s touch and wants what true love could bring to her life.

These two souls that hide behind facades of their own making shaped up by their experiences when growing up meet by chance when Matthew is brought in as a patient to the hospital where Jane works. From the moment Matthew feels Jane’s fleeting touches and hears her angelic voice, its as if salvation has come calling for him to take him back to the shores of life. Though Matthew is unable to see his Jane’s face during his hospital stay, the white hot attraction that flares up between them is an all consuming one which left me totally breathless at times. Jane who has never had an untoward thought about any patient of hers finds herself yearning to touch the perfection that Matthew’s body is. Not knowing who he is apart from the fact that he could be royalty, a bond is forged between these two that each wants to fight but can’t help but give in to.

As Jane and Matthew’s relationship starts off on shaky grounds, so emerges a tale immersed in darkness with a few surprising twists towards the end. Matthew and Jane’s happily ever after certainly is not one served on a silver platter as Matthew’s dreaded father and stepmother contrive to keep these two apart and Jane with her avowal of becoming a respected member of the society certainly doesn’t give up the values that she has held close to her up until now. All this makes for a really good romance to sink into and the scorching passion between Matthew and Jane is so skillfully done that you can’t help but want more of where that came from.

I liked:

  1. THE COVER!! I just freaking love it! Kudos to the artist. Its such a beautiful cover art for a story that is beautiful and unique which the cover portrays so very well.
  2. Matthew Wallingford. Fans of tortured heroes are going to love him and I absolutely fell for him right from the very first chapter itself. At first when Matthew and Jane meets, I thought that all the hype about Matthew being a bad-ass was just all talk as Matthew seemed to swoon into this puddle of goo whenever Jane was around. But 28% into the story, I said hello to the Matthew I was looking for. The cynical and jaded Matthew who lashes out at the only woman who has been able to see through his facade into the loneliness carved and etched onto his soul; the only woman whose touch he craves more than life itself. The way he aches for Jane and her touch which seems to purify his soul and begins chipping away at the ice that shrouds his heart and his smoldering sensuality with his swoon-in-front-of-him good looks certainly makes Matthew one of the most delectable and unforgettable heroes ever.
  3. Jane Rankin. She starts out sounding prim, proper and spinsterish as well as plain. But around Matthew, Jane transforms into the sensual woman she is supposed to be, a woman who yearns to possess and be possessed by the man she loves. Under Matthew’s smoldering gaze, Jane transforms into a woman of immense beauty, her character and strength lending her a  beauty that glows right from the depth of her soul which makes her one of the most endearing heroines ever. I loved Jane for standing by her values, never letting them go until she had taken the time to decide what was right for her. And I loved Matthew for letting Jane go, so that she could come back on her own terms which made this book a winner for me.
  4. The sizzling sensuality of this story. It has the quality to leave the reader breathless, made me yearn for more and much more as the story moved along. I believe its a testament to Ms. Featherstone’s writing style that I loved each and every encounter that took place between Matthew and Jane.
  5. The epilogue which is available separately from the story. Though I didn’t find the ending available in the story itself lacking, the epilogue is a beautiful piece of work that is a fitting ending for a romance that holds readers enthralled all throughout the story. Loved knowing how things turned out for Matthew and Jane in the end.
  6. The reason I didn’t find the ending lacking in the story itself is because Ms. Featherstone certainly didn’t end up providing instant-formula solutions to the very huge obstacles that seemed to stand in the way of Jane and Matthew getting together. So in a way this story is more meaningful because of that and I think I loved this story just a little more just because of that!

I disliked: Can’t think of anything I would change within this story. Loved every single morsel of the story.

Favorite Quotes

She was too close, his brain warned, but his body overruled logical thought, and he wanted her closer, until her breasts were crushed against him, and his mouth was buried in her throat.
“Sir, release me.”
“Jane…” He released his hold and brought his hand up, connecting with what felt like a soft, plump cheek. She had ample time to retreat from him, but even with his blindness, he could see that she moved closer. “Jane,” he murmured again, not understanding this strange fascination with her name, or the sound of it coming from his mouth.

“Stay with me, Jane.” he mumbled hours later as he clasped her small hand to his chest.
“I cannot,” she replied quietly. “The dawn has arrived.”
“I despise the morning,” he murmured, tracing the satiny nails of her fingers with his fingertips. “I am a creature of darkness, whose element is night and shadows. I belong in the dark with the other sinful creatures.”
She caressed his cheek, and he did not flinch and shrink away in revulsion. Instead, he savored that gentle touch, eating it up like a starving man given a few scraps of bread.

Their fingertips touched and he felt as though he’d been punched in the middle. As their fingers entwined, he felt something that was at once welcoming yet terrifying. Looking down at their locked hands, he realized it was a sense of … completion. Instinct told him to block the feeling. But then she spoke, her voice causing a warmth to spread throughout his body.

His breath hissed through his lips and he dropped her wrist as if he had been burned. He felt trapped, suffocated. Retreat, his mind screamed. Run away from what she is suggesting. Yet he wanted her with such fierceness, he wanted to possess her, to take her and bend her to his will. His thoughts stopped, the war within ceased, and he came to her, taking her by the shoulders, shoving her up against the wall as he tore at the slender straps of her chemise.
“You do not know what you’re asking for,” he growled as he pressed his face into her unbound hair. It was wet, and the coolness did nothing to clear the fire that raged in him.

“You thought I believed you insignificant, but the truth is, I find you fascinating. You think I suppose you’re not pretty, but Jane,” he said, looking up, “I find you stunning. Your eyes … your imperfect mouth. It’s beautiful, and I want to paint you how I see you, sensual and womanly, dying to break free of an ideal that imprisons you.”

Staring at the window of his study, Matthew watched as the door of the carriage shut behind Jane. Their gazes met, and despite the fact that Jane had asked that he not see her off, he had not been able to resist one last look at the woman who had changed him, who’d awakened not only the man, but the heart inside him.
Jane… Resting his flattened palm on the glass, he tried to connect with her, if only for a fleeting second, I need your touch …
Despite the silence, Jane heard him and his desperate plea. Her own small hand, devoid of a glove, rested against the carriage window, holding him palm to palm, despite glass, brick and mortar. The sun chose that moment to shine, illuminating the copper curls that had escaped her bonnet, and the glistening trails of tears that slid down her pale cheeks.
Pressing his forehead to the cool glass, he held her gaze, her palm, his eyes pleading with her. Don’t go. Don’t leave me.

Recommended for:

  1. Fans of Charlotte Featherstone.
  2. Fans of historical romances who like their romances with a little more spice in it than usual.
  3. Fans of romances who would like a story that ends just a tad differently from your usual ones.

And the funny thing is, just as I sat down to write the review with music blaring from the headphones, the song Sweetest Sin by Jessica Simpson came up on my playlist which struck a chord deep within me which I somehow found to be perfect for this story. So I leave my review with a couple of lines from the lyrics for you all to enjoy.

Can you imagine us,
Making love…
The way you would feel the first time that we touched,
Can you think of it…
The way I dream of it,
I want you to see like im seeing you…
It’s a picture of perfection,
The vision of you and me…

Your lips upon my lips,
Can you just picture this …
Your finger tips on my finger tips,
Your skin upon my skin …
Would be the sweetest sin …

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