Monday, June 13, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: One Ilicit Night By Sophia James

 Harlequin Historical  May 2011

286 pages    By Sophia James


After one uncharacteristically wicked night, the once-reckless Eleanor Bracewell-Lowen now leads a safe and prudent life.

On his return to London's high society, Lord Cristo Wellingham looks different from the man she knew so briefly in Paris, but he is still as magnetic….

In his cold amber eyes Eleanor detects something she has seen mirrored in her own—longing. His touch invites passion, but this is a man who could destroy her good name with just one glance….

I read one review that complained of the cliches, well, I hate to break it to you, but that is the romance genre. Sometimes the cliches can be overlooked because the characters carry you above the obvious. It does here in this installment of the Wellinghams from Sophia James. Just barely.

I read 'From High Seas to Society' Brother Asher's story, and "One Unashamed night" brother Taris' story (see review HERE) This is younger brother Cristo, the golden god.

Cristo Wellingham has been in Paris for years, (he is only half-brothers to the others) not only claiming his french title, but working for the Foreign Office. One night, he is gifted with a naked whore by a crooked police prefect. She is very drunk, and very beautiful. Cristo has been celibate for longer than he cares to remember, so why not?
Imagine his shock when he finds this so-called whore is a virgin. After a wild illicit night of hot sex, he bundles her up and sends her on her way. 

Cut to five years later, We see Eleanor is married to a much older man who is gravelly ill. She has been living a peaceful and it seems, a celibate life with her husband. There is affection between them, but no love. So what was she doing in Paris anyway, and how did she wind up In Cristo's bed?

Cristo is wondering that same thing. He arrives back in England, he is finished with his life in Paris and his work with the Foreign Office. He is carrying around a lot of baggage, with regards to his emotions and family ties.
He is shocked when he sees the woman from that magical sex fueled night in Paris. Eleanor is shocked as well, she faints dead at his feet.
Yes, there is the standard cliches, the daughter that is not her elderly husband's, but the spitting image of the beautiful, blond Cristo. Blackmail, intrigue, and the connection with Eleanor's brother, which is tied to Cristo's exile.
The couple themselves, do smoulder. But some of the subplots were a little hard to swallow. But Sophia James is such a lush, capable and intelligent writer, it overcomes some of the lapses in narrative. Neither character is perfect, at times Cristo seems petulant and spoiled, and Eleanor stubborn and prideful.
But all in all, a very satisfying read. Just enough deep emotion for me to enjoy.

3.5 stars out of 4 for the book

KOVER KUDOS: The model is blond and beautiful and Cristo all over, love the look on his face as well, and where his hand is placed, LOL! Love that! Good cover, fits the characters and the story.

3.5 stars out of 4 for the cover

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