Back Blurb :
Miss Celia Fitzgilbert’s grandfather has decreed she must marry a man with a title or he’ll never reveal her mysterious father’s identity. But her engagement to an Earl was already broken, leaving her steeped in scandal. She has all but given up until the reclusive Duke of Clairemont returns to Society and sweeps her off her feet, a potential solution to all her problems.
But things are not so simple for the duke. Aiden is not comfortable with his position in Society, perhaps because he is a fraud. In truth, Clairemont died months ago and the man playing him is a spy, bent on uncovering a dangerous secret. A flirtation with Celia, meant to help him fit in, quickly turns very real. But can Celia recover when the lies come out? And can Aiden keep them both alive long enough to even consider a future?
My View :
The second installment of the Seasons is just as brilliant as the first, it follows on from where A Winter Affair left off, Celia is the middle of a bit of scandal due to what happened with the end of her engagement and then along comes John Dane, who is at the time inperdonating the Duke of Clairemont obviously the pair meet and fall helplessly in love at the first moment but unlike a lot of romance tales theirs is hindered by this case that John is investigating.
I really, really did like John and Celia’s story, you can see what is happening between them and yet you are caught off guard with the twist’s and turnings with Johns case and it’s really interesting seeing how they struggle with what is going on around them and then both trying to move on past the various obstacles that is being put in their way.
I am so glad that the second part of the Seasons has focused on Celia, she did get a bit of a raw deal in A Winter Affair, she was portrayed as a bit of a title-hunter/gold-digger even though the reason behind her actions was explained, with the fact that she was being blackmailed by her grandfather, I still thought that she did need her story telling.
She is an interesting and complex character, she is strong-willed and she knows her own mind, but like her sister Rosalinde (Book 1) she is very vulnerable. I like how Jess Michaels has teemed this fragile young woman up with an equally fragile man, but yet when they are together you don’t see that vulnerability, you see a partnership that you know is going to work.
“My name. It’s John Dane,” he repeated.
Her lips parted and the washcloth slipped from her fingers as she stared at him. He had refused her that answer before and it had hurt her. Now he said it and she recognized it for what it was. A gift and a goodbye.
I adore John, he is such a mesmerizing and thought-provoking character, he is a man who due to his job as a spy seems to have lost apart of hisself throughout the years, he is scarred and bruised from his traumatic early life and that has made its mark on this remarkable man. On the outside while he is doing his job as a spy he is this large, unfeeling man that basically get’s on with the job with no emotional attachment’s. . .That is untill he sets eyes on beautiful, young and sensitive Celia and then we see his other caring, loving and very sexy side come to the fore front.
Seeing this vulnerable man as he struggle’s with his feelings for Celia and how protective he is of her is so lovely, he is caught between a rock and a hard place with needing to do his job and find the traitor to the crown and wanting to protect and be as close to Celia as humanly possible, and when the one thing he didn’t want to happen, does happen. . .He falls in love.
“What would you have me do, Celia?” he whispered, not to argue with her, but because he truly didn’t know. He’d never known himself, never been anyone but a lie, a ghost, a tool.
She smiled as if she understood. ” Make a new start with me. As John Dane. Whoever he turns out to be. Make a life with me. Love me, and more that, allow me to love you as you grow into the man you will be next. Please”
the “please” was what broke him. She was offering him everything he’d always wanted and never dared hope for. She was offering him herself, and he knew that would be enough, more that enough, to sustain him for the rest of his life.
“I-I love you,” he whispered
Spring Deception is a rare gem that needs to be read and appreciated for how truly wonderful it is, any Historical Romance reader will adore this, it has everything that we want in a good love story. The story is flawless, it is richly charged with a sizzling emotional and sexual tension. . .especially when John start’s showing Celia exactly what he want’s to do with her.
The Seasons series started of with a great start with Rosalinde and Grey, but I think that the remarkably talented Ms Michaels has just upped the game with John and Celia, the series is just getting better and better and I can’t wait for the next installment. This definitely has to be added to any Historical Romance readers book shelf, it really is too good.