Lady Elisabeth Hamilton-Baythes has a painful secret. At fifteen, she was abducted by highwaymen and sold to a brothel. But two days later, she was rescued by a young lord, a man she’s never forgotten. Now, she’s devoted herself to save other innocents from a similar fate.
Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh, never breaks the rules. Well, once, but that was a long time ago. He’s finally escaped his unhappy past to become one of the wealthiest noblemen in Britain. The last thing he needs to complete his ideal life? A perfectly proper wife.
When Bryson and Elisabeth meet, he sees only a flawless candidate for his future wife. But a distant memory calls to him every time he’s with her. Elisabeth knows she’s not the wife Bryson needs, and he is the only person who has the power to reveal her secret. But neither can resist the devastating pull of attraction, and as the truth comes to light, they must discover that an improper love is the truest of all.
Some historical romances follow a formula that rarely deviate from a certain path resulting in a typical happy ever after. The Virgin and the Viscount isn’t typical at all, and quite frankly, it’s eminently satisfying because of it.
Elisabeth’s beginning in life started out classically enough until a fateful day that made the rest of her life completely atypical, fascinating and worthy. Bryson’s life was horrid, beastly and unfortunately out of his control, until it was in his control and all his choices from then on had one goal – to be proper, dutiful and perfectly perfect while being his own person. Both Elisabeth and Bryson had to overcome amazing adversity but the most challenging and daunting choice they will make is whether or not they are well matched in all ways that matter. The conflict comes from them wanting different things while wanting each other in a passionate way that complicated things to no end. The hardest part was resolving the past before they could have a future, and that’s no easy thing. Because of the varied intricacies that Ms. Michaels plagued her characters with, I found this novel an absolutely fascinating read.
When I said that this book was written in a unique way, I wasn’t stating that lightly. The truths that eventually get revealed gob smacked me and practically unhinged my jaw from the shock. It’s a clever bit of storytelling that bowled me over. I never had an inkling of what was coming, nor what Bryson’s ultimate choice would be.
The mystery person that appears towards the end brought a level of emotional angst and poignant feelings to the story. That person also taught Bryson a valuable lesson which will come in handy with dealing with Elisabeth. Ms. Michaels’ inclusion of this character was a stroke of genius.
The Virgin and the Viscount sounds like a simple, basic story but it’s so much more. It has depth of emotion, wonderful dialogue, sympathetic characters and a powerful romance that grew and blossomed before my eyes. I’m being intentionally vague because the impact of the reading experience hinges on a reader having no clue about the amazing story within its pages. I am only willing to say that the romance between Bryson and Elisabeth worked for me, I enjoyed watching them fall in love in all its bumpy glory and the passionate scenes between them were quite spicy and seductive. This is a book well worth reading and spending time with. I enjoy being surprised and Ms. Michaels wildly succeeded in doing so. I give this tale two thumbs up.