“We’re strangers in the darkness,” he whispered. “We’ll never be together like this again.”
Zachary Bronson has built an empire of wealth and power, but all London knows he is not a gentleman. He needs a wife to secure his position in society—and warm his bed in private. But one alluring, unexpected kiss from Lady Holly Taylor awakens a powerful need within him beyond respectability.
An exceptional beauty whose fierce passions match Zachary’s own, Holly always intended to play by society’s rules, even when they clashed with her bolder instincts. But now a dashing stranger has made her a scandalous offer that does not include matrimony. Should she ignore the sensuous promise of a forbidden kiss…or risk everything to follow her heart to a place where dreams begin?
This is not really one of my favorites of Kleypas. It’s overall not a bad book, but there are some things about it that grate on my nerves.
I”ll talk about what I liked though first. I thought that the characters-by themselves-were fairly interesting. Zachary was a fascinating character who had potential to be a Derek or Simon type of character but just didn’t reach the oomph that either of those characters did. I think a part of the reason why I couldn’t love this character was that while those characters had some vices as well, I didn’t feel like either of them were trying to force the MC to love them as much as Zachary did to Holly.
Yes, I know it wasn’t like he forced her to move in with him, but the way he went about it and the way he slowly encroached himself into her life was a bit creepy.
I also felt like some McNaught like flashbacks showing how he got rich and not just telling us he was poor once upon a time might’ve helped somewhat. I know that a lot of times Kleypas does the tell not show background and it works, but here I think a little further backstory might’ve at least made me sympathize for the male lead more.
As for the lead female, I felt like we got enough backstory with her and I liked her struggle with moving on. What I didn’t like was the end where Kleypas sort of diminishes what Holly’s relationship with her dead husband was. Like, her relationship with Zachary is something more and her other relationship was insignificant.
Really, is it that difficult to admit that hey both relationships were great but different. You can have more than one love of your life.
The whole ending, really cheapened the effect of the book and I also saw this with one of Kleypas’s previous books as well.
The plot wasn’t really anything special. I will give Kleypas this that she didn’t try to invent some overdramatic plot at the end with a random villain-though we do get a overdramatic event that sort of made me cringe than the usual mustache twirling villain. But the book is decent enough.
If you’re Kleypas’s binging, sure why not give this one a try. The reason I read it is because I’ve been doing just that and got a good discount on the book. However, if you see it in the bookstore and haven’t tried any of her work before I highly recommend reading the Wallflower series or Hathaway series before this one. It is a bit meh.
Overall Rating: A B-