Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Ensnared by Innocence by Larissa Lyons

Lord Blakely's carnal appetites lean toward experienced women, the type who accommodate his need for frequent—and frequently wild—sex.

So when Lady Francine, an alluring innocent if he ever saw one, outrageously requests he pose as her betrothed, he knows he should refuse. But he can't stop himself from participating in her outlandish scheme, especially when she adds one very unexpected, enticing element to her offer—herself.

Unfortunately, it's fast approaching the time of year when Lord Blakely loses all control and turns into a raging beast. If Lady Francine is unable satisfy his sexual appetites, will he be forced to reveal his untamed side?

Reader Advisory: This love story between two people contains one ménage scene.

Right from the first word I was pulled into Francine’s world. She approaches Erasmus Hammond, Marquis of Blakely, while he’s having a conversation with his friends in the ballroom. Once I knew he was a marquis, the images sprang to mind with vivid clarity, and I was well away into the land of a time that has gone before.

Francine needs to break free from a life where she’s lived with her aunt (and what a sour hypocrite she is) and cousins, always second best, always the one blamed for anything that went wrong. She’s coming to the age where being left on the shelf isn’t acceptable and longs to be allowed to live by herself to do whatever she pleases. With her aunt trying to get a certain male to set his cap at Francine, and with Francine trying desperately not to let him into her life, she hatches a plan. It’s mad, it’s daring, but she’s determined it will work.

She wants Erasmus to pretend they are betrothed until she’s of an age where she can be free. Of course, with Erasmus being the kind of man who, for very good reason, chooses women he can’t get attached to, Francine has a bit of a job convincing him to do as she’s asked. Erasmus is flabbergasted at her proposal, is dead set against it, although there is something about Francine that draws him more than any other ever has…

While he waits for her in the bushes outside so they can have a private conversation, he watches and listens as Francine has a conversation with her cousins. He finds her charming, unlike any of the women he’s sampled before, and the nugget of interest begins to grow.

Ensnared by Innocence is an utterly charming book where Erasmus and Francine bounce off one another—their rapport is a joy to see, their dialogue spot-on for me, and her cheeky words/actions and his reactions to them brought on lots of smiles. Watching their relationship unfurl from mutual interest into deep love is wonderful, and later, when I discovered why Erasmus behaved as he did at times, telling Francine rather mysteriously that if he asks her to keep away from him, she really must do as he says (I hadn’t read the blurb so had no clue he’s a shifter), I was pleasantly surprised and shocked.

The scene near the end where Erasmus hasn’t been able to fight off The Change, when Francine visits him and he tries to make her go away via his brother, Nash…well, the frantic dialogue from Francine is superb, in my opinion. She’s desperate, will do anything to make Erasmus see she’s there for the long haul, and the gift she gives both brothers proved to me how much she loved him.

Good God. He’d just been propositioned by a bloody heiress.

Top image: After being close enough to count the folds in his snowy white cravat…

Diddeys (Hahahahahaha!)

…his sometimes-clawed toes. (LOL)

She felt him shake with laughter, the rotter.

Charming dialogue, wonderful wit, love, desperation, secrets…what more can a reader want? Ensnared by Innocence is a damn fine read that swept me along to the point everything around me faded away while reading. I read another historical by this author the other day (Lady Scandal, a Must Read if ever there was one—review HERE) and fell in love with her wonderful sense of humour. I’m reading Nash’s story at the moment—Decieved by Desire—and I must say I haven’t been disappointed with anything Ms Lyons has written so far. So long as she writes historical works, I’ll be reading them. That I can guarantee.

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