I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Summer of Surrender (Seasons, #3) by Jess Michaels
Series: Seasons #3
Published by The Passionate Pen on November 8th 2016
“What she had done to him deserved anger and revenge and a great deal else. She had already served part of her penance in a desperately unhappy marriage. Perhaps this was the rest.”
FINAL DECISION: Filled with angst, longing, pain and love, this book made me fall in love with Lucien, a man who can’t help but love the woman who broke his heart. The path from his complete brokenness in the prologue to the ending was a fantastic journey.
THE STORY: Lucien Danford, Earl of Stenfax had his world destroyed when the woman he loved abandoned him to marry a duke instead. Lucien is determined to stay away from Elise, Duchess of Kirkford, now that she is widowed but he cannot deny thinking about her. When the two unexpectedly end up in the same place, the anger and passion explodes between them. The past is an obstacle that Lucien and Elise cannot seem to overcome even as they cannot resist one another.
OPINION: This book begins with one of the most devastating depictions of a broken heart that I think I have read in a romance book. It immediately made me fall for Stenfax. A man who could love that deeply is a good man indeed. I was also surprised with the direction that Michael’s took with Lucien’s despair. I thought it very brave to depict his reaction in such a manner because some people would see him as weak. I didn’t but there are still stigmas. Everything about Lucien was wonderful. Even angry and brokenhearted he is such a wonderful human being in how he treats Elise that I just wanted to hug him.
My sympathies were completely in Lucien’s corner and thus I was prepared to dislike Elise, but instead, I felt sympathy for her as well even as her motives remain murky. She is a desperate woman and her situation is so untenable and it is imperative to remember how few choices women had in the past. Elise is left with nothing else other than using her body to save herself.
These two are so desperate to be with one another even as they know it is hopeless. I love the amount of angst and pain in this story because the darker the journey, the more beautiful the happy ending. Both Lucien and Elise are put through the wringer in this book. Even as the truth comes out, there is still pain and betrayal for the two to overcome.
In addition to the angst filled romance, I really enjoyed the interaction between all the prior series characters. They have intriguing interaction among one another. There is caring and anger and it is clear that Lucien and Elise are the pivot in this book with all these people. I’ve liked these characters in the prior books and it is nice seeing them again in substantive ways.
Finally, there is a nice plot which motivates the actions of the characters. That story is clearly going to continue in the next book in the series (not the romance but the overarching plot) so be prepared to accept that when reading this book.
WORTH MENTIONING: Felicity is up next.
CONNECTED BOOKS: ONE SUMMER OF SURRENDER is the third book in the Seasons series. This book can be read as a standalone although it has more power having read the other two books in the series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.