Initiating Christian

Initiating Christian by Emma Wildes
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Books
Review by Gardenia

A scandal shy woman and a secret admirer…

Lauren DeSerre is widowed, independent, and most importantly, values respectability. It was bad enough that her affair with the notorious Duke of Bellingham ever came to light, but when her rakish former lover reveals his younger brother has a penchant for her, she cannot believe she is the least bit tempted. One taste of scandal was more than enough. However, Christian is just the opposite of the devilish duke, and his interest unexpectedly intrigues her.

Christian Foster harbors a hidden passion. He knows he isn’t in the least like his charming older sibling, especially when it comes to women, but it doesn’t stop him from having a fantasy or two about the captivating woman he just can’t get out of his mind. When he discovers he has an opportunity to spend a clandestine evening with the luscious Lauren DeSerre, he can’t help but accept. After all, it might be his only chance to prove to her that when you couple love with physical attraction, the combination can be combustible…

The Duke of Bellington, with an unusual request, approaches Lauren DeSerre. As a birthday gift to his brother, Christian, he wants Lauren to spend the night with his younger sibling. She is appalled but reminded that she is indebted to the duke. To make her more agreeable, she is told that Christian is infatuated with her but is too proper to approach. Faced with a possibility to fulfill a debt and a young man’s fantasy, she relents.

I was amazed with the depth of story and character in so few pages. The characters are well developed and very likable. With Christian’s brother Adam having such a strong part in the story, I was afraid Christian would be overshadowed or seen as an inferior character. This was far from the case. Ms Wildes portrays Adam as a virile and strong man, but it is clear he is a supporting character and Christian stands in no ones shadow. Christian is the man in control and Lauren is more than worthy to take him on. Together, they took my breath away.

I initially thought I would have an “um-hmm” attitude toward the basic plot, but I found myself understanding the reason for it. The reserved Lauren becomes more vulnerable than she realized she was capable of being and she gives more of herself than she thought possible. Christian is a man of honor and will not allow anyone to taint what they share, including Lauren.

The pace was spot on. In a story that is less than one hundred pages, there was more than enough description to allow you to see the scene and characters well. Ms Wildes rounds out the story with interesting supporting characters. I even laughed out loud with one scene involving Christian’s sister-in-law.

The plot was simple and straightforward, with nothing cheesy about it. There were no villains or villainous moments, but the story didn’t lack for substance. There was one main conflict threaded throughout the story and it is solved quite nicely. To be honest, this is a sweet story told in a spicy way. For me, I would like to see more of these and I will definitely look for more books (of all length) by this author.

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