26 March 2013

With This Kiss (A Fairy Tales novella in three parts)

Summary from Goodreads:

With This Kiss: Part One

Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace's sparkling, gorgeous sister?

With This Kiss: Part Two

Lady Grace Ryburn has accepted another man's proposal after the love of her life, Lieutenant Colin Barry, asked for her own sister's hand in marriage.

But when Colin returns home from the wars, injured in body and spirit, will she be able to turn her back and marry another? Or will she throw away every rule her mother taught her and try to seduce a man who has shown no interest in her kisses?

With This Kiss: Part Three

Lieutenant Colin Barry returns from the wars knowing that he has no right to steal Grace from the arms of her fiancé. Yet the same warrior's spirit that won so many battles at sea is prompting him to throw propriety to the winds, imitate his pirate father, and simply take what he most desires!

[Note: the original review consisted of teasers for the first two parts with a review when the third part was published but in reconstituting it here, I decided to just put it into one review]

Grace, daughter of the Ashbrooks from The Ugly Duchess, and Colin, adopted son of the Barrys from Seduced by a Pirate, were close as children. In the first part of With This Kiss, Colin and Grace have grown up - Colin into a respected Navy Lieutenant and Grace into a shy, gifted painter.  He inadvertently breaks Grace's heart by falling stupidly in "love" with Lily, Grace's vivacious younger sister.  In the second installment, Grace accepts the proposal of a man who respects her but whom she does not love.  When a wounded (blind) Colin, appears on the Ashbrooks doorstep, Grace throws all caution to the wind and sets off on a solo trip with a sedated Colin and, well, things get a bit out of hand and downright naughty.  At the end of Part Two, Grace and Colin have just a spat following their escapade in the carriage. Colin can’t see and is momentarily thrown when told he has a wife. Wife?! Because Colin doesn’t immediately guess the correct woman, Grace panics, talks herself into then out of a life with Colin, and tries to flee from the inn.

The third installment of the novella, out today, picks up here.  Colin, wisely, prevents Grace from leaving and spends a considerable amount of time and attention making her “see.” Both hero and heroine have suffered from a lack of insight. Colin didn’t realize that it was Grace’s letters keeping him alive and sane until he feared he might lose her. Grace, for all that she loved Colin, saw only what she wished to see and limited her scope of vision to her experience as a woman in the shadow of a vivacious sister. Literal blindness – through injury and circumstance – force the couple to open their other senses and find the truth. Eloisa James has written another lovely novella for her Fairy Tales series – wry, witty, bittersweet, and satisfying. Grace and Colin are very much their parents’ (and creator’s) children and are still so very, very real. Grace could be the talented, quiet young woman next to you on the bus while Colin could be any of our servicemen returning from military service to his loved ones. Placing their story in a historical setting only serves to make their romance more palpable. I was moved to tears when Colin began to re-read and respond to all of Grace’s letters. A beautiful scene. But then the last line had me laughing so hard - a wonderful Eloisa James juxtaposition!

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