Also in this series: Ruthless, Breathless
Series: The House of Rohan #2
Published by Mira Books on September 1, 2010
Genres: Historical Romance, Victorian Era
Narrator: Susan Erickson
Length: 10 Hours and 30 Mins
Adrian Alistair Rohan lost his faith, and now, a dedicated member of the depraved Heavenly Host, he loses himself in his only pleasure: the seduction and debauchery of beautiful women. Rich, charming and devastatingly skilled in the arts of love, he never fails in his conquests... until Charlotte Spenser.
Charlotte is facing a desolate, passionless future, none of which matters to Adrian, who imagines her a toy until better prey arrives. But beneath her drab exterior, Charlotte is a woman as enchanting as she is brilliant and, lured into Adrian's world, soon she becomes the seducer, and he the seduced...
Reckless is the second book in the House of Rohan series. I just gobbled up the first book of the series. And Reckless features the son of Rohan and Elinor…Adrian. Now the first book does take place in Paris, but the family has moved to England. I first want to mention how fantastic this book is. I don’t know why I took so long to get to book two, but Adrian’s book was wonderful. I will say that this author’s writing style is unique from most Victorian era authors….it definitely has a higher level of steam and more sensual.
Our delightful story begins with the setting of a house party in the countryside where the group of Heavenly Hosts meet. Now we were first introduced to the depravity and focus of sexual encounters in the first book. Our heroine, Charlotte, has been captivated by Adrian Rohan for years. But her cousin is attending the Heavenly Hosts party, and Charlotte is curious. She doesn’t necessarily want to participate but she wants to observe. When she arrives to the party however, her cousin Lina soon leaves her to her own devices when she is called away. Charlotte ends up wandering the grounds and caught up in a passionate two nights with Adrian of all men. He teaches her the pleasures of sex and she finds passion and desire. But even though they never plan on seeing each other again, fate has a way of getting in the way of best laid plans and love they neither of them expected to find.
“You’ve been pinning for him these last three years, God knows why. Admittedly he’s gorgeous, but you’re hardly the type to be overset by simple beauty. Why?”
Because he has sad eyes, she could have said. Because he tries so very hard to be bad, to be mean, to be cruel, and all you have to do is look past the studied ennui to see a hurt little boy trying to emerge. And yes, because he’s bloody gorgeous.”
We also are introduced into a secondary love story, involving Charlotte’s cousin Lina and the local Vicar Simon. I was really intrigued with this set up. Lina had a really rough marriage and had bitter feelings toward Vicars. One of her closest friends is dying and Simon is being a bit too involved in her business. Sparks fly between these two. Simon doesn’t approve of Lina’s lifestyle in seekig sex everywhere she can find it even though he knows that she hates it and doesn’t find pleasure in intimacy. But she begins to feel desire for the first time in her life with a man so opposite from herself.
“You’d be better served if
you gave me a moment to regain my self-control and let me remove my boots. It’s the least a
gentleman can do.”
“And you’re such a gentleman.”
“Not with you, love. But I’m trying.”
These two stories were simply fantastic, and I was drawn completely into this book. I love the writing style of Anne Stuart, they just pull me in and the narrator for this series is SUPERB. Susan Erickson really brings this book to life and I love the way she narrates the sensuality and the vibrant emotions that speaks to the listener. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked up Reckless. I didn’t realize it was a different setting since I really liked the Parisian setting. However, this isn’t your average Victorian Era romance and Anne Stuart just adds such energy to her books and Reckless is no exception. I really had a blast with this book even if the heroine drove me nuts up the wall. She gets a bit violent against the hero (slapping him) when she is being a hypocrite in a certain situation. So I don’t approve of heroines slapping heroes….yes Adrian is a rake but she didn’t have much cause in slapping him. So whenever I see this in a romance it really drives me crazy and probably is the only aspect of the story that I didn’t like and keeps the story from being a five star rating.
However, despite some of the heroines actions, I understand why she does it in some ways. She isn’t ready for the emotions that Adrian brings out in her including the desire she is feeling for him or the fact that she is loving having sex with Adrian. There is such a focus of being shamed by sex in society in this time period, so she really has to face up to some tough things for herself. We see such a close bond that Adrian and Charlotte have together. Even though Adrian isn’t the type to settle down and Charlotte knows it. When she suspects that she is pregnant despite the precuations that they take to prevent it, she doesn’t want to tell him at first. Of course, it hard to hide it from him and then the plot takes a new twist with Adrian’s cousin Etienne. Now Etienne is the most depraved human you can know and what a villain he was. From the beginning we see how truly evil his character is.
I will say that I found Charlotte and Adrian and Lina and Simon’s stories were simply wonderful. I love how they just seem to work together and these stories just flow in and out of each other. I was really imressed with how this book was written and once again I have fallen madly in love with another book by Anne Stuart. This series is one I can’t wait to read more of, Reckless was vibrant and unique and packed with sensuality that makes the reader melt! A STORY TO DELIGHT IN