I received this book for free from Avon in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Surrender to the Earl by Gayle Callen
Also in this series: Redemption of the Duke
Series: Brides of Redemption #2
Published by Avon on May 28th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
A pretend engagement turns into passion between an unlikely pair in the second book of USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen's new Victorian series.
She wanted a favor, not a fiancé.
Audrey Blake's impromptu plan-asking a visitor to help her take ownership of her rightful property-is unraveling in spectacular fashion. Robbed of her sight by a childhood fever, Audrey has been kept in virtual seclusion by her family. And now the enigmatic Robert Henslow, Earl of Knightsbridge, has complicated her scheme to gain independence, insisting they pretend to be engaged.
Duty brought Robert to Audrey's doorstep. As for what makes him propose marriage…it might be guilt. Compassion. Or something far more urgent and unexpected. Their counterfeit union was supposed to be for Audrey's benefit. Yet it's Robert who yearns to prove to the intriguing Audrey how much they both have to gain by making it real-and convincing her to submit to the most blissful passion.
After coming home from India, Robert has come to Audrey Blake’s home, out of duty and obligation to her husband, with whom he worked with as a fellow soldier. What he finds is a confidant young woman, but blind. Audrey once suffered a severe fever, and she lost her sight at six years old. Now she is a pretty much a prisoner in her father’s home, and feels smothered. She married her husband, desperate to have freedom. However after she finds herself married, her husband is not what she expected, he used her as well. After he leaves for India, she loses her baby, and then later finds out her husband has been killed. Now back in her father’s home, she is desperate to find a way to leave. When Robert Henslow comes for a visit, and offers her a chance to get free once more. Only she will have to have a pretend engagement with the Earl. At first Robert is more than willing to help Audrey, but as their pretend engagement brings them even more intimately closer than he ever would have imagined. Now he desires to make their fake engagement much more real and keep Audrey as his own.
I was given a ARC by Edelweiss and Avon books to give a honest review. It has been quite some time since I have read anything from this author. I have loved all of her other books, and I don’t know if I was just distracted with this one, or what, but I had a hard time getting fully into the story, when I have never have had any problems before. I would describe it as an enjoyable read but not the type that gets the blood thumping with excitement. I did enjoy the type of circumstances that this couple is faced with. And once I got about halfway into it, then it started to get really good.
With Audrey, blind, and a virtual prisoner in her father’s country estate, she is more than eager to leave. Her father sees her as a invalid, to be put aside and practically forgotten. All the glory and attention should go to her younger sister of course. So when Robert, the Earl of Knightsbridge, returns home to pay his respects to the widow of one of the soldiers he feels guilty over his recent death. When he arrives he is very surprised to find that she is blind, but no where close to invalid status. She is determined to have a life, despite being blind. He finds her courage and tenacity, only makes her even more attractive in his eyes. When they agree to a mutual fake engagement, he is all for it. He feels like he owes her something, and this is the least that he can do. Audrey, is no where ready to take on another husband. But for the first time she feels a fierce desire for Robert, the kind she has never felt before.
Robert, didn’t have the best childhood. For the most part he felt isolated but yet he grew up to be a man of honorable intentions. He joined the army, and ended up in India. I found Robert to be the type of hero you want for yourself. He isn’t much of a rake, he is bound by duty and obligation. I found him to be very refreshing and I liked the way he treated Audrey. He never sees her blindness as a negative characteristic, but admires her for what she has done despite of it. There is such a passionate connection between the two. I also liked how the heroine was far from perfect. She suffers from being blind, and I just loved this aspect of the story. It added a certain unique aspect that only added to the story even more.
I found Surrender to the Earl a pleasant and steady read. It wasn’t the type where you are flipping through the pages, but it wasn’t so slow it would take a turtle to keep ahead. I didn’t find it to be very significant enough to blow my mind in any form. Although there were certain aspects of the story that I did enjoy. I liked the slow escalation of the love story that develops between this couple. Overall I found it to be a enjoyable romance that leads you into a light read, that is good for any time of the year.