This is the first time I’ve read one of these new serial stories that seem to be popular lately. I’m glad I had all three books to read back to back, but I also wish there’d been more. It takes a very gifted storyteller to pull readers in, fill them with emotion, packing a huge punch in such a limited word count. Eloisa James does it beautifully.
Lady Grace has had a crush on Colin since a very early age. He never notices her as more than a sister, since they’ve grown up together – their parents being best friends – and Grace’s sister Lily is the vivacious one who garners all attention. But Grace’s love grows and never wavers. When Colin follows his calling to the sea in the Royal Navy, she even writes to him, keeping him abreast of all the goings-on at home.
She later discovers that her letters have helped Colin get through the ugly side of his military career. So Grace takes her corresponding to another level, even though the man very rarely answers her missives. Colin does come home on leave every so often, but he still doesn’t take notice of Grace the way she hopes he will. Then when Colin finally does send a letter home, Grace knows Colin will never love her. So when another man begins to court her, Grace accepts his suit and plans to make a life without Colin.
You have to feel for Grace when she stands on the edge of the ballroom, watching exactly what she wants but never attaining it. Ms. James does a wonderful job with the emotion in so few pages. Not only the feelings of Grace and Colin, but also that of both families for the other. They’ve been friends for years and you can see the deep love they all have for one another.
Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace’s sparkling, gorgeous sister?
Colin has been injured and, thus, discharged from the Royal Navy, on his way home to England. And Grace. But is he too late? Has she already married another? Would she want him anyway, now that he’s not the man he used to be? Arriving at Grace’s home full of laudnum and in pain, unable to see, Colin is made comfortable until he can be bundled up and taken to his parents’ home.
It’s at this time that Grace knows she will only be truly happy with Colin. Garnering her mother’s permission and help, breaking her engagement, and putting her heart on the line, Grace accompanies Colin on his journey. And what a journey it turns out to be.
Having laudnum in his system only makes Colin dream, and Grace is always the star. So when she’s so near in the carriage taking him home, close enough to have her in his arms, sensual enough to make love to her, Colin allows his dream to flourish, loving Grace just as he’s wanted to for so long, even without realizing it. For Grace, taking destiny into her own hands has her dream coming true. She finally will be with Colin, she has love enough for both of them.
But realizing that Colin believes it’s Lily he made love to causes Grace to run. Colin, however, has something to say about that . Again, Ms. James does a wonderful job of pulling the emotion from both of these characters in very few pages. So much so you can’t wait to get to Part Three to find out what happens.
Lady Grace Ryburn has accepted another man’s proposal after the love of her life, Lieutenant Colin Barry, asked for her own sister’s hand in marriage.
But when Colin returns home from the wars, injured in body and spirit, will she be able to turn her back and marry another? Or will she throw away every rule her mother taught her and try to seduce a man who has shown no interest in her kisses?
Now it’s Colin’s turn to take the bull by the horns and go for what he wants. Refusing to let Grace run, he becomes the pirate he’s always heard his father was and keeps Grace in his grasp until she understands exactly how he feels. But nothing will work for them as it should until they both really see what they’ve been afraid to face and what has always been right in front of them. They’re finally forced to take a long look.
Colin must convince Grace he wants her, that she’ll never live in her sister’s shadow again. As he does so, their lovemaking is sweet and intense. They continue to talk to work out the issues between them. When they get to that point and find themselves before a vicar to be married, their love is cemented even deeper when questioned about their union.
I love when Colin finally sits down to answer Grace’s letters. She does too. A beautiful scene, something Ms. James is very, very good at. I’ve not read the previous books that feature these characters’ parents, but just the little bit they’re introduced here makes me want to find those books in the mountains of print I have stored and start reading about them immediately. Every one of these characters is charming, intriguing, and leap off the page.
We even get an epilogue to assure us all is right in Colin’s and Grace’s world down the road a number of years. Everything is wrapped up quite nicely, just as it should be in the fantasy of romance.
Lieutenant Colin Barry returns from the wars injured in body and spirit, knowing that he has no right to steal Grace from the arms of her fiancé. Yet the same warrior’s spirit that won so many battles at sea is prompting him to throw propriety to the winds, imitate his pirate father, and simply take what he most desires!
I enjoyed every bit of this lovely story. I doubt I would enjoy reading many more of these installment stories. As much as I like a good cliffhanger, I don’t want to wait that long to find out what happens to my heroes and heroines, I want it all in one book when I have to work for that HEA. But once in a while I think I can live with this new concept in storytelling.
Overall Grade: B