The Last Time We Met by Lily Lang

TIME
The Last Time We Met by Lily Lang
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: short Story (107 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Daisy

He was her first—and only—love.

Miranda Thornwood is desperate. Her brother, accused of murder, has lost the inheritance that would buy him a proper defense. There is only one man in London rich and powerful enough to help. Jason Blakewell, owner of the St. James gambling empire…the man she once betrayed.

Jason is stunned to find Miranda on his doorstep. Once he was a stable boy, wildly in love with her—believing she loved him in return. Until, on the brink of eloping to America, she betrayed him to her father. And Jason was sent to the hulks.

For ten years he has dreamed of revenge, and now she is handing him his chance on a silver platter. His price for giving her aid? She must become his mistress.

But when their lips meet, he tastes something other than revenge. He tastes the passion that never died. And now he is tempted to lay aside his thirst for revenge and risk his heart a second time in the greatest gamble of all.

Fancy a historical romance without the overindulgence in etiquette? This novel does this from the start when protagonist Miranda invades a gentleman’s club for help.

The pace of the piece is fast and does not let up. In many ways, the story resembles modern day thrillers but, of course, without the modern scenery. This is no bad thing; it widens the book’s audience.

The right amount of description is used to cover the historical environment without impinging on the plot. However, sometimes the narrative becomes a little stilted with statements like ‘touched him thus’ and overly complicated words such as ‘impecunious’. Occasionally clichéd terms are used too such as ‘a caged tiger’ and ‘real hell living without you’ which are in need of a more original comparison. Thankfully, these are rare and the narrative usually is skilful in guiding the reader through a well-depicted historical country and town life without problem.

The plot itself is intriguing and, much like the pace of the novel, twists the stereotype of historical romance to include elements of fiction not usually seen in the genre. There is bargaining to be done in a male dominated civilisation and a balance of cost and reward to weigh up. This is a delightful departure from the shall we shan’t we get married stereotype and is a move towards the darker side of the historical era without being stingy with the bedroom sparks.

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