Review: Drawn to the Marquess

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.

Review: Drawn to the MarquessDrawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords, #2) by Bronwen Evans
Series: Imperfect Lords #2
Published by Loveswept on September 4, 2018
Genres: Historical
Goodreads
four-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed this book because the focus, besides the obvious romance, is on these two characters who are damaged and yet find in one another a reason to move beyond their fears.

THE STORY: Stephen Hornsby, Marquess of Clevedon, is determined to see everything he can before he goes blind. When he bids for a painting, he finds his competition is a beautiful widow, Lady Penelope. Stephen is determined to experience the beauty of seeing Penelope naked and in passion. Penelope has her own motives. She needs Stephen’s help. She certainly isn’t interested in becoming another conquest for the determined rake. She already was married to a man who betrayed and used her emotions and dreams against her. She will never get involved with another man and risk herself or her emotions.

OPINION: I admit to being a sucker for a damaged hero. Stephen struggles with his increasing blindness. It makes him question just about everything about himself. I liked his journey throughout the book as he discovers what is important about himself — both in his own eyes and in those around him. Balancing his “weakness” with his strength as a hero was done skillfully demonstrating that any weakness that Stephen senses in himself doesn’t overwhelm all the strengths he has. I especially loved that Penelope flat out tells him that he is strong enough to overcome his challenges.

Penelope is a woman of strength and determination. She has a horrible past, but she has not allowed it to make her cower in fear. Instead, she has built a life for herself and intends on doing what is right no matter the consequences.

The dynamic between Penelope and Stephen was interesting because the need for reassurance that each needs ebbs and flows with the events in the story. I liked that about the couple. They both don’t want to trust, they both have fears and they both have to open themselves up to the possibility of being hurt.

The plot of the story about the death of Penelope’s husband serves its purpose in the story. I wasn’t particularly interested in the resolution, but it did push Stephen and Penelope into situations which challenged them individually and as a couple.

WORTH MENTIONING: For readers of ADDICTED TO THE DUKE, we get a nice little update on Alex and Hestia.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DRAWN TO THE MARQUESS is the second book in the Imperfect Lords series. This book has overlapping characters, but the romance is completely separate and can be read as standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to help prepare this review. I was not required to write a review and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-stars

Review: Addicted to the Duke

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.

Review: Addicted to the DukeAddicted to the Duke (Imperfect Lords, #1) by Bronwen Evans
Series: Imperfect Lords #1
Published by Loveswept on June 13th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 260
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  A good kickoff to a new series about men who are definitely not your perfect men.  Alex is a man struggling with an addiction and the consequences of his capture and imprisonment and his belief that he is not good enough for Hestia.  I love damaged heroes and Alex is definitely an imperfect one.

THE STORY:  Alexander Sylvester Bracken, Duke of Bedford agrees to help Lady Hestia Cary find her missing father. Alex feels a debt to Hestia’s father for helping in Alex’s rescue from his captivity with a pirate.  When he is forced to take Hestia with him in order to ensure her safety.  Four years ago, Hestia was rescued by Alex from the same pirate who had captured Alex years before.  At sixteen, Hestia fell in love with Alex and doesn’t understand why he has spent years avoiding her.  Alex is determined not to taint the sweet Hestia with his tainted presence but their voyage together allows Hestia to batter down the walls that Alex is using to separate them.

OPINION:  I greatly appreciate books that stretch the genre — and this book does.  Alex is a hero who struggles with his addiction and there is no easy and simple resolution.  He also has done terrible things under the influence of his drug of choice. This book is about how he forgives himself and reaches for happiness rather than dwelling on a past he cannot change.

The story was filled with adventure which I didn’t expect.  There are multiple levels of villains that Alex and Hestia have to defeat on the way to their happy ending. Some of their challenges are external, some are internal.  Some want to threaten their lives and some want to threaten their relationship.

At first, I wasn’t sure about the matchup with Hestia because she seemed too sweet and innocent for the damaged Alex…but she has a hidden strength that I didn’t expect.  Alex doesn’t expect it either.

This book pushes the envelope on Alex’s addiction because there are no easy answers for him.  During this time period, addiction is not understood and is seen as character flaw rather than an illness. My one serious complaint about the book is that I would have liked an explicit update in the epilogue about Alex’s addiction since it was such an important part of the story (maybe in the next book in the series).

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book deals with the issue of addiction in a time period long before there was an real understanding of addiction.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ADDICTED TO THE DUKE is the first book in the Imperfect Lords series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars