'She walks in beauty like the night; shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?'Miranda Ellis is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, and she is no ordinary woman. Since birth she’s possessed a very powerful gift, one she’d managed to keep hidden, but it only took one slip, one moment’s loss of control and her life, and the lives of her family, were forever changed. She is lovely, and certainly far better than he deserves, but Archer can't help it, he's drawn to her like a moth to the flame and he has to make her his.
‘I might call him a thing divine, for nothing natural I ever saw so noble.’Lord Benjamin Aldo Fitzwilliam Wallace Archer, Fifth Baron Archer of Umberslade is no ordinary man, but what makes him different is not a gift he was born with. In fact, it’s not a gift at all, rather the horrific consequence that comes when man thinks to play God. He's bitter, boorish, demanding, pushy... but Miranda can't seem to fight the attraction she feels for him. Despite the mask he wears to hide his scars and his secrets, despite everything about him, she wants him like she's wanted no one else.
Miranda and Archer are fabulous characters, both suffering from their own brand of torment, each one trying to save the other. Archer, so strong, so dangerously powerful and yet with a vulnerability born of foolish arrogance that makes me want to take him in my arms and love him forever. And Miranda... vulnerable not because of her gift but in spite of it. Apart they are lost, but together they are the perfect match, giving each other what they need to overcome the obstacles keeping them apart. And the sexual tension between Archer and Miri sizzled throughout the book and when they finally came together... well, it burned up the pages!
There were many wonderful quotes, but I'm going to share my favorite two. This first one is truly, truly romantic:
Wonderful, beautiful, blissful, gorgeous, lovely. Adjectives floated around in Archer’s head like cherry blossoms falling in late spring. He wanted to laugh, shout, and run amok singing at the top of his voice. Snatches of romantic poetry learned in his salad days came to mind. She walks in beauty like the night; shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? He smiled then, looking up at the ceiling above his bed. He certainly did not possess the talent to fit into words what he felt. Too bad Byron was dead. He’d have hunted him down and introduced him to Miri. The master poet would have found words to do her justice.And then this one... so poignant, as Archer lays his heart bare:
He spread his arms wide in entreaty before letting them fall. “I lied. I lied when I said your beauty does not affect me. I look at you, and I’m breathless, dizzy from it. I want to kneel at your feet and worship you. While the baser part of me wants to fling up your skirts and stick my cock in you until we forget our names.” His nostrils flared as he glared at her, accusation and pain mingling within his eyes.The bottom line - This is truly a great story. I started it not knowing what to expect, but was WOW'd from the first page to the last. The secondary characters stand out, demanding their own stories be told, and that makes me very happy because I can't wait to return to the world of Darkest London!
“But none of that matters,” he said, trembling before her, “because every day that I am with you, I am more convinced that God made you just for me. For in ninety years on this earth, no one has made me feel the way you do, as if every day is an adventure. You make me laugh. And I never laugh. I go around smiling like a witless fool. So yes, I kept it from you, because I am so desperately in love with you that the knowledge that you might love me too was irresistible. And I was afraid it would turn to dust should I take off that mask.”
This book was provided by netgalley.com in behalf of Forever, an Imprint of Grand Central Publishing.