April 17, 2022 05:22 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During March, I read four full-length books, a novella, and two short stories. There were a few of so-so reads among them, but overall, most of them were quite good, with two receiving five stars from me. However, one stood out slightly above the other. It’s an erotic, historical romance, the first I’ve read by this author and the first in a planned quartet, that received a lot of buzz when it was first published quite a number of years ago. Passion is a widow who endured an unhappy marriage. While browsing the exhibits at the Crystal Palace one day, she’s rescued from being clobbered by a falling potted palm by a man who awakens a side of herself she’d thought lost. His mere touch inflames her in such a way that she can’t resist the pull of his allure, so when he draws her behind an ornate screen, she eagerly accepts all that he has to offer. They make love right there in the museum and make plans to do the same for the next few days. When Passion’s visits to the Crystal Palace come to an end, Mark insists that they must continue to see each other and starts climbing the trellis to her bedroom window every night. Soon, their encounters deepen far beyond mere sex until they both know that they don’t want to live without one another. But Mark is being blackmailed by a social-climbing commoner who has dirt on his mother. He doesn’t care much about the woman who birthed him, but if the information gets out it would hurt his brother as well, something he’s determined not to let happen. But the price that’s being exacted from him is nothing short of marriage to the vile blackmailer’s daughter. Mark plans to do what he must to protect his family, while hoping to keep Passion as his mistress. But when Passion discovers that his betrothed is none other than her own beloved cousin, she can’t bring herself to continue their affair, leaving them both brokenhearted.
Passion is sweet, kind, and loving toward everyone. She adores her two sisters and her cousin and is very close to all of them, entrusting her sisters with all her deepest secrets. She’s a woman who lives up to her name with an intensely passionate side that has had no outlet until Mark comes along. I love how she embraces that side of herself, reveling in their love affair and thoroughly enjoying their sexual encounters. But most of all, she’s a woman who loves with her whole heart and isn’t afraid to give that devotion to others, and Mark is someone who desperately needs the love she has to offer. Mark is a man who is starved for affection and, who, due past issues, understandably doesn’t trust women, but with Passion everything is different. She speaks to a part of himself that no other woman has, and he absorbs her love with his entire being. I love a man who is as undone by his encounters with his woman as she is, and that’s exactly how it is for Mark. Even though he resists for a while, thinking that he’ll eventually tire of her like all the other women who came before, it gradually becomes clear that he can’t live without her. He’s determined to keep her in his life in any way he can have her, while selflessly protecting his brother who he clearly loves more than anyone else except Passion. When he finally realizes just how strong his love for her is, it was a deeply poignant scene with him laying his heart out in a completely vulnerable way. I adore Mark and he’ll definitely be taking a place among my all-time favorite heroes. I just can't resist a tortured hero who find everything he needs and more with the woman of his dreams.
I adored Mark and Passion as characters and felt they were tailor-made for one another, and their love scenes are scorchingly hot. They’ll definitely go down as one of my all-time favorite romance couples. I’m not typically a fan of relationships that start as sex-only, but in this case, it worked very well for me. Each encounter Mark and Passion share deepened their connection until it was beyond obvious that they were passionately in love with one another. The book also wrung a lot of emotion out of me. I knew it had to have a happy ending, but there were times that I almost despaired that it was ever going to happen. The blackmail scheme was very well done, seemingly hemming Mark into a place he’d never get out of, so when the HEA finally came, I rejoiced right along with him and his heroine. Overall, this was a truly awesome read for me and one that is definitely going to be an all-time favorite. That’s why I’m naming Lisa Valdez’s Passion as my March Book of the Month. If you enjoy historical romance with a tortured hero and a kind, loving heroine in a deeply emotional story with lots of blazing hot love scenes, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
In her second year of mourning, lovely, young widow Passion Elizabeth Dare never dreamed she would be with a man again—and certainly not a complete stranger. But amidst the crowds of London's Crystal Palace, Passion finds herself discreetly, yet insistently, pursued by a sensual gentleman who awakens her long-supressed desires. After a loveless marriage of restrained propriety, Passion abandons herself to true bliss for the first time.
Read my complete review of Passion.
If you would like to win a copy of Passion to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon offers an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Lisa Valdez