WARNING. This review contains spoilers.
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Connor Riordan – the “dead” Duke of Dunbrooke, a.k.a. Roarke Blackburn. Described to have wavy, dark hair and gold-speckled brown eyes.
Rebecca Tremaine – youngest daughter of a knight, a.k.a. wee Becca. Described to be a redhead with gray-green eyes.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and breezed through it. I would’ve finished and reviewed sooner but stuff with work got in the way. I gave this book a 5 for a lot of reasons. One reason is I’m pretty sure this will be a reread for me. Such a sweet and poignant read, it got me happy and then heartbreakingly sad after. Another reason would be my fondness for the characters (I’ll get to this in a moment), how I love Connor and Rebecca together. The book is so good, I almost forgot to take down notes and quotes for my review. That’s how immersed I was in my reading. The twists and turns of this book will have you turning pages in no time. There are other great things about this book, and I wholeheartedly suggest that you read the book now. The downside of this book would be the numerous “wee Becca” spread all throughout the book. I didn’t mind it at first but it got annoying at one point. Ms. Long could’ve left a few “wee Becca” off for maybe about two to three lines. Nonetheless, I still gave this a 5 because that was so trivial to the how awesome this read is.
Now, Roarke Connor Riordan Blackburn (yup, that’s his name. This is quite important in the story BTW), the Duke of Dunbrooke was assumed dead when he took up another name after the war. I love Connor! How he’s Irish one moment, and fully English the next. He’s always kind to Becca, even though his childhood was deprived of anything nice thanks to his father who beat him. So I have to commend him for that, he wasn’t hardened (in attitude) because of his past. Though I didn’t like that he left his birthright just because he hates his past (which won’t hurt him anymore since his dearest papa is dad). The lands were left to waste and the tenants were suffering. Such a petty excuse for the end results, really. I was glad he felt guilty for leaving Dunbrooke. Rebecca Tremaine is not your ordinary lady, a bluestocking of some sorts. After an unfaithful twist of fate, she’s engaged to a wastrel. She and Connor ran off to Scotland (mind you, not to get married), but because fate wasn’t kind, a lot of their plans changed. I admire Becca because her character is a soft yet sturdy one. After all that she had gone through in the story, really she could use a dukedom. I love how her youth in the book, like a ray of sunshine amidst dark happenings (there was a lot). I love the combination of Connor and Becca You can just feel it every time they’re together in a scene. They were so meant to be together.
The best side character award goes to Chester Sharp. He’s the coach driver they hired to take them to Dunbrooke land. He’s a funny guy. The most hated character does not go to Cordelia Blackburn, Connor’s mistress before the war and the duchess of Dunbrooke while he was in hiding (yes, I know how twisted the story is). But it goes to Anthony, Lord Edeleston. What a prick. Everything he did in the book shouted “ass”. And I mean, everything.
One of my fave scenes is when Connor and Becca had a bath at the stream. What sexual tension! They’ve been holding it in for quite some time, it was torturous and funny. The next would be when Connor was announced as the duke in the Wakefield ball. It quite ruined his plans but I found it comical, him avoiding it so much only to be announced nonchalantly upon his entrance. For their love scenes, there were four. Certainly enough for me. Their love scenes were so beautiful and light though. No very crude words, if I recall. It was very sweet how Connor revered Becca’s lovemaking. One particular love scene that really caught my attention was when they were beside the stream. It was just a short scene though. After that, Becca asked Connor who he really is. Typical Becca, haha.
I love this book, though I do have that general reaction to Ms. Long’s books. I recommend this to anyone who’s starting to read the historical romance genre. It was an enjoyble read too, so if you were looking for something light and nice, this book would do. I’m ending my review here so I could start with the other stand alone (a personal favorite of mine) from Ms. Long, “To Love a Thief”.
“Connor . . . do you think I should practice the pianoforte? Isn’t that what . . . well, wives . . . are supposed to do? I already know about the . . . the . . . well, you know. Other marriage things. From Papa’s book.”
Other marriage things, haha! You mean sex darling.
“How can I think less of you, Connor, when, of all the people in my life, you have always cared for me best, in your way?”
Yup, he did.
“I love you”
There was quite a lot of “I love you”s. I love all of them!! It’s cheesy as hell, I know. Such a sucker for cheesy things, I am.
“Sometimes the wisest, bravest thing we can do is follow our hearts and forgive the thing that seems unforgivable.”
Hear hear, Leonora (the gypsy).
A/N: I do love this book, why I had a hard time making the review is beyond me.