Lady Sybil’s perfect life is a perfect lie. Her husband spends more time with his beloved mistress and illegitimate children than he does with her. Worse, since he no longer beds her, they’re left with only a distant cousin as heir. While her husband lives, Sybil knows no erotic touches, no passion. No love. If her husband dies, her home will be entailed to Stephen, a stranger.
When Stephen visits the property that will one day be his, he’s instantly ensnared in a web of lust, longing and lies. For how can he resist Lady Sybil, a woman so full of beauty and life? A woman who deserves to be loved and worshiped and set free from the gilded prison in which she’s trapped? Stephen is determined to show Lady Sybil every pleasure she’s been deprived of, even if it means being forever condemned in society’s eyes.
Inside Scoop: This erotic Regency romance features an intense, taboo relationship between an older woman and a younger man.
Review: Most of the historicals I have read over the years involve either young women experiencing love for the first time or finding love after being freed from a miserable marriage through the death of a much older spouse. The plot of this story sounded intriguing because we have Lady Sybil, a lonely forty-something mother of two, and despite being still married, throws caution to the wind and propositions a much younger man. Her Gilded Prison is the tale of her transformation from a dutiful, unhappy wife into a woman who finally experiences love, passion and romance for the first time.
After the first scene I was not quite sure to think of Stephen. Between his behavior with Lady Julia, the peeping Tom incident and how quickly he agreed to Lady Sybil’s proposition, I suspected he was quite the rake and questioned his morals. His real personality started to shine through however with the way he was able to draw Sybil from her shell and turn her into a vibrant, full of life woman.
The secondary characters were interesting to say the least. We have Humphry, the miserable excuse of a husband who played a huge role in the way Sybil saw and felt about herself, Araminta, the extremely spoiled and selfish daughter of the two, who demeaned and lowered her mother’s self-esteem even more and Hetty, the quiet daughter, who was constantly being overshadowed by Araminta.
There was one lingering question that remained forefront in my mind the entire time I was reading this story. Is a happily ever after ending even an option for these two? My mind kept churning with possible scenarios and I was very pleasantly surprised with how Ms. Oakley chose to end this story. I look forward to reading more of this author and this series in the future.