Release date: July 5, 2016
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
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In the next sparkling romance in debut author Charis Michael’s Bachelor Lords of London series, a proper viscount meets his match in a beguiling virgin who can't help but break all the rules.I'll admit I'm not quite as enamored of the historical romances that are...high concept, should I say? Big, dramatic happenings are not my favorite. I'm happy with balls and dinner parties, and longing looks across a crowded room. BUT, I can always get behind a romance when I like the characters and am dying for them to get together finally--high concept or not--and The Virgin and the Viscount is just one such romance.
Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At the innocent age of fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. After two days, a young lord discovers her and enacts a brave rescue to get her out. Now she's a grown woman, working to save other girls from the horror she saw that night and never forgetting the young man who rescued her.
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh has overcome an abusive boyhood, neglectful parents, and a bankrupt title to be one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. He works tirelessly to be upright and forthright and proper to a fault. Now he requires only one thing: A proper, forthright, proper wife.
When a charity event puts Lord Bryson and Lady Elisabeth face-to-face, Bryson has no memory of the wounded girl of long ago. All he can see is a perfect candidate to be his future wife. Elisabeth has never forgotten him, but she worries that the brave boy who saved her so long ago has become a rich man with an unfulfilled life.
As a whirlwind courtship reveals the truth, Bryson must accept that Elisabeth is actually a shadow from his dark past, while Elisabeth must show that love is the noblest virtue of all.
And in the case of The Virgin and the Viscount, that setup, though more complicated than I normally like, is just so compelling. How are you not going to root for Elisabeth and Bryson? Your immediate reaction is to feel bad for Elisabeth, but what's so great about her is that once you get to know her, there's no need to feel bad. She's so capable, giving, and unbowed by what she's gone through. It's affected her, yes, but it's only made her better and stronger. Throughout the book, she's the emotional core and strength. While Bryse has a hard time overcoming his history, she holds strong.
At times, I think Bryse is a little frustrating in that he's so slow to realize things--and, of course, I wanted to smush them together, more than a little bit--but there's a lot going on for him. The Rainsleigh you get to know here is very different, and a lot more vulnerable, than the man we saw in The Earl Next Door, but it only makes you want more for him.
That's what makes a book that maybe wouldn't be my favorite on its own stand out, though, are the characters you get to know and care about so easily. Elisabeth and Bryson are just those kinds of characters, and a pair I won't soon forget--and will enjoy seeing mention of in the third book.
Charis Michaels is thrilled to be making her debut with Avon Impulse. Prior to writing romance, she studied Journalism at Texas A&M and managed PR for a trade association. She has also worked as a tour guide at Disney World, harvested peaches on her family’s farm, and entertained children as the “Story Godmother” at birthday parties. She has lived in Texas, Florida, and London, England. She now makes her home in the Washington, D.C.-metro area.