Series: Fitzhugh Trilogy #2
Published by Berkley on July 3, 2012
FINAL DECISION: This book is complicated and out of the ordinary. It challenges the reader, and many will reject it. But the right reader will find this book simply beautiful as it explores two people who are married for years before the romance starts. I loved Millie and Fitz and will think about this book for a long time.
THE STORY: Millie is to marry an earl who needs her father’s money. The Earl Fitzhugh never planned on inheriting the earldom, and certainly not in giving up his life’s plan and the woman he loves because of an impoverished earldom. Now he has to marry an heiress. The only problem is that Millie has fallen in love with Fitz at first sight. Fitz and Millie end up agreeing not to consummate their marriage for eight years — and allowing Fitz to live his own life during those years. Now, as the eight years are coming to an end, the love of Fitz’s life is now free, and she and Fitz are brought together again. Before he can be free with the woman he loves, however, Fitz knows he must consummate his marriage and hopefully get his wife with an heir to uphold his agreement with Millie.
OPINION: I wouldn’t have appreciated this book when I was younger. This book is so much about marriage and dealing with disappointment and loss. But it is also about friendship and love and building something together. Millie and Fitz become partners and grow up as individuals. This is an amazing story, but reading it takes the right mindset.
This book is angsty, emotional, and heartbreaking.
There are so many moments when I wanted to dislike the characters, but Thomas does such a good job of making all the characters complex that each has positive and negative qualities.
Millie is simply amazing in this book. She is quiet, but she isn’t a pushover. Indeed, she has a spine of steel. She endures. Everything about her personality shows that she is strong and opinionated. As Fitz recognizes in her something wry and clever and so very strong. She runs her home, she is able to run her family business. She is kind. This book could so easily go wrong with a heroine who Fitz walks over — but Millie is not that person. She makes choices that others disagree with, but they are her choices.
Fitz could have come off as a terrible jerk. But, like Millie, he is incredibly young when their marriage begins. I love this book because we get to see how he grows up and how his relationship with Millie forms an essential part of who he is. He makes mistakes, but he also grows during the book.
The relationship between Fitz and Millie is beautiful. It is messy and complicated, but I also love that the two talk and communicate with one another. That’s what makes the messy parts okay. They are always talking with one another, so the apparent betrayal isn’t really betrayal. Their relationship is really a friendship and partnership that grows throughout the book.
The only negative thing to me was that the introduction of the next romance involving the sister felt intrusive at times. I wanted more Millie and Fitz.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book transgresses one of the rules of romance — infidelity. Some people won’t like this book because of that.
CONNECTED BOOKS: RAVISHING THE HEIRESS is the second book in the Fitzhugh Trilogy. There are overlapping stories, and appearances are made by characters from the other books in the series (because the series is about three siblings). This book can completely be read on its own — as I haven’t read the others in the series and understood what I needed to here.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.