I received an ARC of A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant from Amazon Vine. This is Grant’s first book and it is a keeper. For starters it is full of humor. I was laughing out loud throughout the first part of the book. Here is the description of the story from the book:
“Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?”
Martha and Theo are a great pair. They start out as strangers and as the book progresses so does their relationship. Both have something to give to the other and both change and grow. It is also fun to watch the reaction of the secondary characters to Martha and Theo’s arrangement.
This is one of the best first books I have found. I could not say it better and I have to agree with Eloisa James when she says:
“If you read only one debut this year, this is the one to read! Incredibly sexy . . . surprisingly sweet. I loved A Lady Awakened!”
—The writing is smooth, the story line builds slowly, and the characters grow and develop allowing a wonderful conclusion. This is also one of the books where the sex made sense. It was part of and essential to the story. I hated to have the story end. Look for A Lady Awakened to come out in December of 2011. Pre-order now.