Destitute and determined to finally be free of any man’s shackles, Lily Benedict sets out to salvage her honor. With no choice but to commit a crime that will save her from her past, she enters the home of the recluse, Derek Winters, the new Duke of Blackthorne. But entering the “Beast of Blackthorne’s” lair proves more threatening than she ever imagined.
With half a face and a mangled leg, Derek—once rugged and charming—only exists within the confines of his home. Shunned by society, Derek is leery of the hauntingly beautiful Lily Benedict. As time passes, she slips past his defenses, reminding him how to live again. But when Lily’s sordid past comes back, threatening her life, it’s up to Derek to find the strength to become the hero he once was. Can they overcome the darkness of their sins to find a life of love and redemption?
Review: I discovered Christi Caldwell exactly when I needed her most…She’s a breath of fresh air and is extremely talented with not only dialogue but the stories she weaves, making typical plot lines something extravagant.
Lily was a character that I immediately wanted to cry for, I don’t know how she did it but Miss Cadlwell had me ready to burst into tears within the first few pages, which is not an easy feat! Her past is something out of a horror story–and yet she still returns to the one duke who’s related to the man who ruined her entire existence.
She’s patient. Firm. Loving. And also terrified of Derek, the “beastly” duke of Blackthorne, and yet I love how from the start he knew she was different from the rest of the governess that had dared step into his lair. She finds him scary but at the same time its amazing how she’s attracted to his strength, which is really something that’s woven through the entire story, his strength, and her strength. They are both strong in different ways but its incredible to see how their relationship forms into more of a friendship even though there’s so much lust going around.
Derek made me sad. There I said it. He was so broken, so, angry…Yes I think that’s the word. HE was angry at the world at himself, at his friends, and yet in the back of his mind he KNEW the only person he had to blame for his anger was himself. His transformation was something that had me tearing up on most pages–even though I wanted to throttle him half the time too.
The love story was beautiful–and yet heartbreaking because as a reader you know both sides and know all it would take would be one SIMPLE honest conversation and they’d be okay, but of course, as all books go, they stumble towards the end and gain many bruises in the process.
The dialogue is wonderful and the story just made me happy even though I cried a lot throughout it. Christi Caldwell is a force to be reckoned with. If you love regency romances and something that is a lot like beauty and the beast with a different twist, check out this book.
“Bloody hell, Harrison, you have orders not to disturb me.”
At that thunderous boom, Lily jumped. Heart pounding, she swung her gaze from the pale butler to the door and then once more to Harris. What manner of man was the new duke to yell at his servants so? This man who could not be bothered to know or use their correct names?
The column of Harris’ throat moved with the force of his swallow. With the pallor of a man who’d downed a plate of spoiled oysters, he gave her an effortful grin that was more grimace than anything else. “I-it is Harris, Your Grace, and there is a visitor—”
“I don’t give a bloody hell if it is the damn Queen of England for tea and biscuits. Do not darken my door.”
She stared unblinking at that door. This was George’s brother? This foul-mouthed, mannerless brute? A more rational, sensible woman would be fearful of the beast that dwelled on the other side. The woman who’d given her virtue over to a shameless cad, who’d pledged marriage and then, instead, found herself a permanent position in an old man’s bed, however, was long past fearing a snarling, petulant duke.
The muscles of his face contorting as though in physical pain, Harris looked at her. He held his palms up and gave a dismayed shake of his head. He tried once more with his employer. “I-it is about the g—”
“If you say it is about the girl, I’ll have you hung by your ballocks.”
Oh, that was really enough. Following her fall from grace, she’d been demeaned by all; including this man’s abhorrent family. She’d not tolerate such treatment in another. Lily reached past the butler and, ignoring his shocked gasp, she pressed the handle.
USA TODAY Bestselling author CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!
Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, chasing around her feisty seven-year-old son and caring for her twin princesses in training!
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