Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant

Well, I have been wanting to read this book for a long time it seems.  First I was drawn to the gorgeous cover (although the modes hair color is wrong and I do believe Ms Grant acknowledged that but its still pretty) then I was drawn to the interesting sounding plot.  So when I saw this up on Netgalley I grabbed it and happily dove in.  It started off great but then the middle dragged a bit too much for me.  Thankfully the ending picked back up and it finished out strong.  Here are some of my thoughts. . .

~~Martha Russell is newly widowed and when the terms of her late husbands will become known, she is desperate to keep the estate for some pretty selfless reasons.  She comes up with the idea to hire a lover for a month in a desperate attempt to get pregnant and pass the child off as her late husbands and hopefully keeping control of the estate.  The resulting actions portray Martha as a cold woman who is very intent on her one purpose and has no room for pleasure so for most of the book it seems a bit clinical.  But like I said, her reasons are truly selfless so I did warm to Martha a bit in the beginning but it took almost until the end for me to truly like her.

~~Theophilus Mirkwood has just been given a set down by his father for his rather frivolous lifestyle and when the unassuming Martha proposes her plan to him, he accepts as he is in need of funds due to the fact his father has cut him off.  But he is quickly met with the glacier wall of Martha and it takes a whole lot for that wall to finally thaw and for him to teach her the true delights of the bed.  Theo was fun and I really enjoyed him during his scenes.  He has a natural charm with his tenants but still bungles that up from time to time and Martha is the perfect counterpart to that.  Theo is extravagant in his life and unconstrained yet generous and as a result, enjoyable to read.

~~The secondary characters add a nice balance of normalcy to this book.  There is alot of talk about opening a school and Martha is almost like their champion to help all the underprivileged boys and girls get some education.  But on the flip side of that...I almost felt like there was a bit too much talk about the poor and their needs and found myself skimming bits of it.  It was great to see both Martha and Theo develop proper relationships with their tenants and come up with a solution that would benefit both. 

Overall I liked this book but I didn't love it as much as I hoped.  I really struggled with the first half and felt like the pacing was a bit slow for me.  Miranda is unfortunately compared to a corpse for her lack of response during all the intimate moments and I feel like that is sort of a decent comparison for her.  Her heart was in the right place but she would not open her mind to Theo and I just wished that had happened a bit sooner.  It really picked up halfway through though and I really enjoyed the ending.  The writing was good and seemed to flow well and I chuckled a few times, which is always a bonus.  This is Cecilia Grants debut novel, and though I struggled,  I am looking forward to more as I am sure she has a wonderful career ahead of her!  3 1/2 stars

Couple of quotes that stood out for me

"Why me?  I suppose you've heard I'll rut anything that moves"

" suits you.
I should say so.  A plain, solid name.
If you wish it to be.  Or music, if you prefer.  All composed of breath and murmur, and sounds that never stop until you want them to."

I received this eARC from Bantam via

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