Published by Berkley Intermix on August 16, 2016
“She and Lord Warbrooke together? The very idea was absurd, impossible…Entrancing.”
FINAL DECISION: I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. The story is very compact and tight and thus it works well. I enjoyed the characters interaction which covers a lot of ground for such a short story.
THE STORY: Isobel, Lady Kingsley is a widow who has dedicated herself to charitable causes. Her nemesis is Justin, Lord Warbrooke. The two strike sparks off of one another as they take opposite sides. Isobel, however, also has several secrets. One of them is that she found the marriage bed unsatisfying with her deceased husband. Convinced by her dear friend to participate in the notorious Widow’s Auction, Isobel hopes to find some passion. Isobel is shocked when Lord Warbrooke purchases her favors for the night. Although masked, Isobel worries about Justin discovering her identity. Then as the two discover something special together, Isobel knows that her secrets prevent any chance of happiness between them. What she doesn’t know is that Justin already knows who she is.
OPINION: This is a short novella so it doesn’t have the complexity or depth of a full length work. Despite that, however, this story really worked for me. I liked Isobel and Justin who clearly have an attraction to one another from the beginning. The majority of the story is spent on how they discover the real person beyond the one they thought they knew. For a story about purchasing a night of sex, these two quickly enter a personal emotional intimacy with one another which culminates in sex rather than just being about sex. (Not that the sex isn’t hot as well).
I also liked Justin a great deal because he always treats Isobel with respect. In fact, the purchases the night with her because he respects her (and he doesn’t want anyone else to have her). I liked that these two have passions in common and an ability to recognize the good in one another.
Many times I wish than a novella had been written as a full length novel. This story, I think is good as it is.
WORTH MENTIONING: THE WIDOW’S AUCTION was previously published in FANTASY.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE WIDOW’S AUCTION is a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this novella 4.5 stars.