He’s a reclusive Earl with a painful secret that’s kept him from knowing a lover’s touch.
She’s a sheltered debutante tired of living by society’s rules.
But when she’s forced from the ballroom to the brothel, Lily discovers the dark thrill of falling from grace…and into the arms of a man who could destroy her as easily as he saved her.
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing the respectable debutante. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who fills her with breathless terror and impossible yearning.
Though the Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret—one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arm’s length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to heal his troubled heart.
“Are you afraid?”
“Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”
Review: I’m not going to lie, this book wrecked me. It’s rare to read a regency romance that REALLY toes the line of erotica mixed with a lot of Sub vs. Dominant tendencies, and that’s exactly what this book does, but it does it in an addictive way. It wasn’t crass, it wasn’t too much for me–it was all in a touch.
The Earl of Harte can’t be touched. Ever. By anything, after being trained in the arts of sex by basically the madame of a whore house, he learns how to gain pleasure without gaining pain, because of his past he only feels pain with women. UNTIL, her.
Immediately you feel for Lily and her struggle to belong. Not even that, but her desire to find a place in the world of the ton. She is drawn to the Earl but doesn’t know why and doesn’t understand that his dismissiveness has more to do with him than to her.
Enter in a killer brothel scene that left me breathless, and his rescuing her and suddenly he has the girl he’s been avoiding all along, but how is it going to end? This isn’t your typical love story, its more beauty and the beast on steroids. I LOVED his character but literally felt so sick and sad for him I had to put the book down multiple times. Lily wants him but is such a wide eyed virgin that she’s constantly misinterpreting his indifference as rejection when really it’s because he wants her that desperately and it physically pains him.
I’ve never read a historical like this, I doubt I will ever again because its pure perfection. Slow clap for the author because I’m now addicted to this series. The prose she uses, the way she structures the narrative with the characters, its all beautiful, its historical bliss. I give this five roses that rule!