Published by Harper Collins on October 13th 2009
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Helene, the Countess Godwin, knows there is nothing more unbearably tedious than a virtuous woman. After all, she's been one for ten long years while her scoundrel of a husband lives with strumpets and causes scandal after scandal. So she decides it's time for a change -- she styles her hair in the newest, daring mode, puts on a shockingly transparent gown, and goes to a ball like Cinderella, hoping to find a prince charming to sweep her off her feet...and into his bed.But instead of a prince, she finds only her own volatile, infuriatingly handsome...husband, Rees, the Earl Godwin. They'd eloped to Gretna Green in a fiery passion, but passion can sometimes burn too hot to last.But now, Rees makes her a brazen offer, and Helene decides to become his wife again...but not in name only. No, this time she decides to be very, very wicked indeed.
Helene, the Countess of Godwin, has been married to her husband for over ten years. When she met him she was young and believed herself in love with him. They eloped knowing it would be against her parents wishes. It seemed to Helene that their marriage was doomed from the start. Since she found no pleasure in sexual encounters with her husband at the beginning only found pain, they started to drift apart. Now ten years later, Helene wants something she yearns for, a child. However when she goes to ask her husband for a divorce he denies her. Rees, The Earl of Godwin is a rake through and through. He is a scoundrel and has had many illicit affairs outside of his marriage. He is content with having a wife in name, and having passions in the flesh with other women with which he has no attachment to. When Helene asks him for a divorce, he is blunt with his answers, having no compassion for his wife’s desires or wants in having children. Helene eventually leaves, after a long discussion that proved hopeless. So while with a friend out shopping one day, she decides that she needs a change. She wants to have a child no matter the circumstance in which the child is conceived. So she comes up with a plot, that will help her achieve such a goal. She cuts her hair ( knowing her husband loved her long hair ) and she buys new clothes, and in all appearances is a changed woman, since she is planning to entice a man to her bed. At the ball in which she will begin her plot, she comes face to face once more with her husband who knows of her plot, and makes her a offer she can’t refuse. That he will be the one to help her conceive the child she so desires, but she has to come live with him for one month, in his town house where his current mistress is also living. Even though Helene wishes she could back off, she wants a child above the sake of her own pride. So she goes along with this scheme, and finds a passion and sensual delights that she has never encountered.
Its been quite some time since I have had the chance to read anything from Eloisa James in quite some time. I love the circumstances in which Helene and Rees are brought back together once more. At first they fight and argue quite often, and at time act childish to say the least. But as time progress, their attitude toward one another gentles and thus we start to see a flaming passion that rises between the two, one that they didn’t even know existed. Rees, although I thought his character seemed very rude and insufferable at times, he also had some higher moments of course. There were times that he was a handsome, and caring husband toward Helene. Throughout the book you see him soften his attitude and become the true hero of the book. Helene, just sparked my interest from the first page. Helene of course, wants to have a child, after seeing her friends having babies of their own. She craves one more than ever now, and even though she seems to despise her husband that starts to change for him. For all their tense moments and heated arguments, there is also a tender love that blossoms between the two. It definitely will have you flipping page after page, wondering what is going to happen next, and when are they going to admit how much they love each other. This was a tender love story, and one that I am grateful to have gotten my hands on. Now I would like to read the rest of the series, having seen a couple of the other characters from other books, I am eager to hop to it!!!