Back Blurb :
Lucien, the Earl of Stenfax has been engaged twice, but only in love once. That was with his childhood sweetheart, Elise. When she threw him over for a man with more money and a higher ranking title, it broke him. Now she’s widowed and he finds himself drawn to her again, like a moth to her flame.
Elise had her reasons for walking away from Lucien, reasons he doesn’t understand. Back in Society, she’s now financially desperate and is even considering becoming someone’s mistress. But Lucien keeps appearing at the most inopportune moments and it’s only a matter of time before the desire between them explodes.
Time will tell if Lucien will be able to see past his lusty drive for revenge. And if Elise can convince him she’s worthy of more, despite the past.
My View :
Lucian, Earl of Stenfax was callously dumped by the beautiful Elise, just before their wedding, Elise passed him over for a Duke in the process breaking his heart and soul and nearly taking his very life. Stenfax was destroyed when he received the letter from Elise ending their engagement and he was on the edge of throwing hisself of the roof of is best friends house in grief, talked down by his brother Grey his vowed never to speak of or mention her name ever again and vowed to move on with his life, the only problem with theat plan is that is still loves her dearly.
Fast forward three year’s and Elise is newly widowed and on the cusp’s of poverty due to the current Duke wanting her whither for his own plaything or out in the gutter, Elise has no choice but to go to the notorious Madam Manning house who pair’s aristocratic, wealthy men with women who need protection and once there Elise comes face to face with the man that she loves and the one man that she broke all those years ago. Lucien!
After reading the previous two installment ‘s of The Season’s and getting to know the shadowy, Stenfax I have been looking forward to reading his story, Lucian was hi=urt terribly by Elise, she behaved so callously to him and broke his heart and I was looking forward to seeing if Micheals could redeem Elise in some way. I have to say that personally I don’t think she did. Even after we found out why Elise did what she did, I still had great trouble warming to her.
Elise isn’t what would think of her, she is a completely different person to the one that we have heard so much about in the last two book’s, and she has always been portrayed as cold-hearted, ice queen. A callous, manipulative bitch who is out for herself and only herself. She is actually a very strong and selfless woman who did go out of her way to help those closest to her and she does genuinely care for Lucian and his family. But yet, I still can’t get past that initial thought of her. She isn’t my favorite character in this series, I do find her cold.
I do like Stenfax though, not as much as his brother Gray, but he is a likable character, you are drawn to him, to his vulnerability and after what he suffered with Elise he is vulnerable, he is always balancing on the edge especially after his mini breakdown when Elise left him, but he has strength too. He is has trust issue, and he is at times overbearing and over protective but his is kind and generous and intelligent with a good heart. And, personally speaking I do think he is too good for Elise.
The plot is strong and very character driven, the love/hate relationship between all character’s on all sides is interesting to watch and play out. As much as I do love this series, I think that the previous two are a little better than this one. It doesn’t seem to have to same magic that i have come to love about The Seasons, I would still recommend this though as it does fill a few gap’s in and answer some questions that surrounded Lucian and Elise.
Not as good as the previous but still worth a read.
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.
An Affair In Winter (The Seasons Book 1)
Back Blurb :
Widow Rosalinde Wilde is on her way to her beloved sisters wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. there she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion.
Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistable Mrs.Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brothers impending nuptials. He’s shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brothers intended.
Now Rosalinde and Gray will butt heads, even as their simmering desire for each other threatens to boil over. who will win? and who might lose it all?
My View :
On a dark and stormy night two strangers meet in a run down, ill-equipped inn where they are drawn together by so much more than there being not enough rooms, from that very first meeting we are treated to a super sexy cat and mouse chase between two brilliant lead’s. Grayson and Rosalinde think that they will never see each other ever again so they take advantage of that, but unbeknown to either of them is that they are both linked together by a single event, their sibling’s up and coming wedding and once they have found out the truth about who the other actually is, the fun really start’s.
Gray; fiercely protective of his fragile and vulnerable family, will do anything in his power to stop his brothers wedding with Rosalinde’s; title hunting sister, so he decides to hatch a plan – get close to Rosalinde and then break the wedding off through her, the only problem with that is that he starts falling in love with the vivacious Rosalinde. That is not the only obstical in Gray’s way of getting his way, Rosalinde has her own reasons why her sister should marry so from there on we get to over see this beautiful dance between then both, both wanting the same thing with each other and yet on separate sides. The whole thing between Gray and Rosalinde is extremely interesting and seeing how each of them struggle not just with their feeling for each other but also with, the up’s and downs and twist’s that goe’s on with this wedding.
Gray is just brilliant, there are so many different sides to this complicated man, he is intelligent, protective, charming, moody and so sexy that your find your self swooning. He doe’s remind me of Winter Makepiece from Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane Series, he has that same hardworking and reciliant personaility that we always look for in our hero, once you get past the hard exterior he is so engaging and lovable.
This is my first forray into e-books and I have to say that I am so pleased that I was honoured enough to be able to review this book, this is so good there just isn’t enough word’s to describe just how brilliant this is. From the first page you are drawn into this wonderful world of deciet, lies, family honour and unprecedented sexiness, you can feel the built up tension between our two leads. An Affair In Winter is fresh, intelligently written, very witty and incredibly sexy and an absolute joy to read, this is definetly a supurb start to what is set to be a brilliant new series.
Jess Micheals is an absolute wonder, she has this amazing intelligence, and I can not wait for the next installment of The Season’s, if this first one is anything to go by Mrs. Michaels is set for so many good thing’s, this is just so good and a definite must read.