Thursday, November 3, 2011

SEVEN NIGHTS TO FOREVER by Evangeline Collins

Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Date Published: November 2010
ISBN: 9780425236833
Historical Romance
Trade Paperback
Reviewed by Lil
Obtained by Publisher

When her father’s death reveals that she and her younger brother have been left in debt, all of Rose Marlowe’s girlish dreams come crashing down around her. She remakes herself in order to save her family home, and to give her beloved Dash the security, upbringing, and advantages of a gentleman. With the work of a week from every month at Madame Rubicon’s celebrated brothel, one sibling is able to shelter the other from the truth of their circumstances but at great cost to her own future prospects.

Three years in a cold marriage has worn away at James Archer’s soul. The wealthy merchant with a large heart had sacrificed himself to be the husband of a relentlessly scathing, hateful and haughty woman in order to secure his sister entre into society and sponsorship in her all important Season.

The demoralized man's steps lead him to the backdoor of one of London’s finest brothels to seek just one night of respite. With that first shockingly chaste meeting both James and Rose find solace and companionship but the attraction between them flares to fruition though faced with no hope for a happy ending.

SEVEN NIGHTS TO FOREVER was a pleasure to read from start to finish. Ms Collins has an elegant style of writing that exposes her characters in the course of the story so that we can become familiar and embrace their story. It was thrilling to read their first brushes of attraction, the tightening sexual tension, and the luxurious love scenes.

All the same, some of the decisions that the heroine made for the good of her brother were exasperating, who seemed to be far too spoiled for anyone’s good. It seemed curious that she was so pragmatic and that he was so thoughtless. However, the author makes the reader feel the weight of responsibility which Rose has shouldered in trying to do all in her power to give Dash what she believes he deserves. With her genuine kind nature, and beauty of spirit it is easy to see how she touches the hearts of those around her. And more importantly, how she captures the hero’s heart.

James is a remarkable match to Rose’ character in quiet stoicism, but with a core of strength, biding its time to burst free when most needed. He is hard working, contained, conscientious and sexy as all get out. His focus on her as they fall in love is not clouded with illusions. He is well aware of exactly what she is and grapples with the understanding of it. This gave the story somewhat more credence than it might otherwise have had.

Two secondary characters were fleshed out. James’s younger sister, Rebecca, was surprisingly worldly, and Rose’s good friend Timothy Ashton also at the employ of Madame Rubicon’s is fascinatingly vulnerable. Hopefully, the author will give us each of their stories in turn.

Evangeline Collins has found a fan in me with SEVEN NIGHTS TO FOREVER. It is a wonderful, steamy romance with a deserving hero and heroine.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of the book.

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