Genres: Historical Romance, Regency
Published by Loveswept, Random House on April 8, 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
When Mary Smith’s corrupt, debt-ridden brother drags her to a seedy pub to sell her virtue to the highest bidder, Alasdair Thornham leaps to the rescue. Of course the marquess is far from perfect husband material. Although he is exceedingly handsome, with a perfect, strong body, chiseled jaw, and piercing green eyes, Alasdair is also too fond of opium, preferring delirium to reality. Still, he has come to Mary’s aid, and now she intends to return the favor. She will show him that he is not evil, just troubled.
Mary was a damsel in need of a hero, but Alasdair’s plan is shortsighted. He never foresaw her desire to save him from himself. Alasdair is quite at home in his private torment, until this angel proves that a heart still beats in his broken soul. The devil may have kept her from hell, but will Mary’s good intentions lead them back to the brink—or to heaven in each other’s arms?
“It was messy, inelegant, and definitely dangerous.
It was heaven.”
I’m betting everyone can guess what that quote is about and it’s a good one.
In the beginning of the book, through a haze of opium and drink, Alasdair raises his head off of the table to see a young woman dressed in a too-tight gown, noticeably drugged, and the proprietor of the establishment taking bids for her virginity, at the prodding of a young man behind him. The younger man would be Mary’s brother… whom you will want to punch repeatedly.
Alasdair realizes that he can’t let her be thrown to the wolves, even if he isn’t right for her, at least he’s better than the other patrons all calling out bids. After he’s “won” her, he brings her up to his room, and after a little fuss, looks at her and says, “Welcome to hell.”
Alasdair is cursed by death, or so he believes, thus his addiction to opium. He continuously tries to warn Mary away, but Mary sees through him and decides to save him (as is written in the blurb). But from there, it’s not only a battle against his addiction, but a battle against time, before Alasdair’s cousin tries to ruin him in front of the London Ton, before Mary’s brother helps Alasdair’s cousin, and tries to get her back, and before Alasdair, himself, decides that Mary is safe enough, and retreat into the sweet oblivion of opium again.
If you’ve ever dealt with anyone who was an addict to anything, or you’ve been in that situation yourself — you’ll be able to relate to this book more so than others… but even if you haven’t — it’s still a great tale of romance, redemption, salvation and freedom. It deals well with drug addiction, in an almost safe way, placing the story in the past, yet making it relevant to today.
Very well written, with pitfalls along the way for all characters, and feeling pity where you may not have thought possible, I very much enjoyed reading this book.