Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published December 15th 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
To survive, Emma Langolet has committed a shocking crime. But, to her amazement, the notorious scoundrel, James Killoran, has agreed to accept responsibility for her desperate act—though the handsome, Irish earl professes no interest whatsoever in the enchanting miss whom he has surely rescued from the gallows.
Hurt and confused by his indifference, Emma is nonetheless drawn to this elegant, arrogant rogue who uses people for his own amusement—but is always there when she most needs him. For she believes Killoran hides true goodness behind his decadent façade. And only the power of love can restore hope and tenderness to a dark and damaged heart—and release the passionate lover imprisoned within.
Lately I've been searching for novels that are not my typical romance read. Something with a twist, or in a new genre. This historical romance sounded like it fit the bill, and I've heard good things about Anne Stuart. So I was not disappointed with this read. It features a dark hero, a hero that you sometimes want to hate, but can't quite bring yourself to, although I'm still asking myself why he was so compelling.
Perhaps it was the facade that was his life. From the beginning you could tell that Killoran was the master of his own misery. He insists that he does not have a heart, and goes to extraordinary lengths to prove it to himself and the world. And while there was much he did that proved he was a hard sort of man, there was even more that he did that demonstrated that he was not as cold and unfeeling and mean as he purported to be. And I think it's this that makes him compelling.
Emma is a likable character, but she's something of an enigma to me as well. Perhaps it's because she trusted so much in her heart, in her emotions and not to common good sense. But I doubt there is anyone else who could have saved Killoran, and this is what made their romance so interesting.
The plot is fraught with murders, plots to murder, twisted characters and schemes. It made this historical romance dark and engaging, and I quite enjoyed that as I was reading. I loved the sizzle factor too, we get just enough heat in this novel between Killoran's romance with Emma, and Nathaniel's with Barbara. Now, that was a romance I wish had been a book of its own. It was searing and sweet and delightful to read. All in all, this novel is well rounded; passionate, romantic, suspenseful dark and made for great reading.