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.The Earl's Complete Surrender by Sophie Barnes
Series: Secrets at Thorncliff Manor #2
Published by Avon on December 29th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
An unexpected passion ignites as secrets are exposed in Sophie Barnes's captivating Regency-set romance...
Despite the diversions offered at Thorncliff Manor, former spy James, the Earl of Woodford, has one purpose in staying there. He must find an encoded book that exposes a conspiracy within the British aristocracy. And he must do so without revealing his purpose to the clever, tempting Chloe Heartly. The lady has a knack for appearing wherever it is least convenient. In the library. In the salon. And, especially, in his arms...
Somewhere within Thorncliff's labyrinth of rooms lies the journal Chloe desperately seeks. When she realizes the brooding, handsome earl is hunting the same quarry, Chloe enters into an uneasy partnership. But in the face of public danger and enemies hiding in plain sight, both must decide how much they're willing to risk to solve the mysteries of the heart.
There were so many things that I found so fun about this story, and oh my….probably Sophie’s best work yet!! It starts off with our hero and heroine meeting at Thorncliff Manor. A well-known and beautiful stone manner and estate, that is full of history and is a place for the gentry to stay for a time. James, the Earl of Woodford has come to the manor, in looking for a special book, a book full of names of a order that murdered his parents and are traitors and may be out to kill the King. He must find this book and and get justice for the horrid crimes this order has committed. Chloe Heartley, is a widow and after her experience as a wife, she will never enter into that kind of arrangement again. When she loved and was betrayed in the worst way. But she has her own reasons for finding the names of the order as well. James and Chloe start working together to find it and get it to the King.
There were many fun aspects of The Earl’s Complete Surrender, but what I wasn’t expecting to find was the level of danger and excitement that fills these pages with espionage….spies and a secret order of traitors and murderers and plenty of spicy romance that leaves you wanting more from James and Chloe. James and Chloe both are against commitment and marriage….but they have special magnetic between them and want to take what they can from each other….desire, friendship and affection even if its for a short while.
Unable to resist, he pushed her back, pressing her against the hard wall of the tower as he deepened the kiss while the scent of her–chamomile and lemons–assaulted his senses. She murmured something, her lips parting as she did so, and he took advantage, dipping his tongue inside to sample her warmth. She was exquisite–sweet like nectar. And her body…it was slim and delicate, but ever so soft against his own firmness, offering him the comfort that he so dearly craves.
The romance between these two was so tender and poignant at times. Both James and Chloe have issues with trust, and certain misunderstandings occur, but I really admired seeing these two fight through their misunderstanding and reach their happy ending. They fight together against their enemies and boy are they powerful together.
Lord Woodford had awoken something inside her–a yearning she hadn’t felt in years, not just to be held…touched…kissed by a man who wanted her in return, but to be appreciated for the woman that she was—to be admired.
Great fortitude and love shines through these pages and I am so excited to see what Sophie Barnes comes up with next. A powerful romance of gritty emotions….sensuality and finding redemption and healing through love.
They reached the front door where the coach was being unloaded by footmen. The men who’d occupied it, however, were nowhere in sight. The butler on the other hand, was very much present, issuing orders to each of the footman as they carried trunks into the house.
“Excuse me, Mr. Caine,” Chloe said as she and Fiona walked up to him.
Raising his chin in the typical butlery manner that conveyed that his complete attention had been drawn, he spoke a succinct, “Yes, Lady Newbury?”
“My sister and I were out walking when this carriage drove past.” Angling her head, Chloe indicated the carriage in question. “I immediately recognized the Marquess of Hainsworth, but I failed to place his companion. Perhaps you can enlighten us regarding his identity?”
Mr. Caine hesitated only a moment before bowing his head in acquiescence. “I believe you must be referring to the Earl of Woodford, my lady.” A brief pause followed. “Will that be all?”
Chloe blinked. “Yes. Thank you, Mr. Caine.”
The butler nodded before turning away and resuming his duties.
“Isn’t he the one whose parents—”
“Yes,” Chloe said, silencing her sister. It was as if her heart had suddenly been filled with lead. Shaking off the melancholy that had swooped down upon her the moment she’d learned of Woodford’s identity, she placed her hand against Fiona’s elbow and guided her through the foyer and toward the hallway beyond, no longer surprised by the solemnity with which Woodford had regarded her from the carriage. Somewhere, trapped inside that man, was the little boy who’d once suffered the tragic loss of his parents, and Chloe found that her heart ached for him.