by Elise de Sallier
He’ll do anything to protect the woman he loves . . . but first, he must make amends for taking advantage of her innocence.
In the much awaited conclusion to Innocence, A Forbidden Love – Book One, Nathaniel, the Marquis of Marsden, is left reeling at the revelation of Lisa’s royal heritage. Keeping her safe has always been his priority, and he is determined to protect her . . . from the King’s machinations, their enemies, and her own overly generous nature if necessary.
Although overjoyed to be reunited with Nathaniel, Lisa fears she made a better mistress than she will a marchioness. Longing for a return to the freedom they shared when he thought her a commoner, she does her best to live up to his – and society’s – expectations, but she’s only willing to compromise so far. Being kept in the dark is no longer an option. Despite the unexpected pleasure she discovered in Nathaniel’s arms, if there is one thing Lisa has learned . . . ignorance is far from bliss.
Gripping Nathaniel’s arm tightly, Lisa considered a possible solution to their dilemma. If the King thought they had to marry, his plans would be stymied, and the wedding could occur at their earliest convenience—or so she hoped.
Looking up at the man she loved almost beyond reason, she came to a decision. Two could play at this meddling game. After everything she had endured, Lisa felt no qualms about manipulating things in her favour.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart.” She smiled her assurance. “I believe I have the perfect solution.”
“A heretofore unknown relative to the crown will require a protracted engagement. But only after Lady Anneliese has been properly introduced to society, domestic and foreign, at a series of formal events.”
Not wanting to distress her father, Lisa made sure he saw her wink before addressing King William’s declaration. She feared the sovereign harboured the belief she could be enticed away from Nathaniel’s side by one of the foreign aristocrats he proceeded to speak of at length.
“The Crown Prince of Bavaria sounds delightful, Your Majesty.” She took the risk of interrupting when it became apparent he intended to laud each prince’s or duke’s individual merits in detail while Nathaniel fumed quietly at her side. “And I do appreciate your desire for my introduction to
society to be memorable. But I’m not sure delaying Lord Marsden’s and my nuptials for any length of time is the wisest course of action.”
She waved her free hand in the vicinity of her mid-region, and the King’s mouth formed a moue. While pleased to see her insinuation having its desired effect, she hadn’t taken into account Nathaniel’s reaction to their supposed news.
“Lisa?” he whispered hoarsely.
Looking up to see he had gone quite pale, she smiled sweetly, willing him to understand her silent message. “Or we could wait, for a long time, while I am paraded before every eligible prince from here to the Baltic Sea if you’d prefer.”
Nathaniel’s gaze dropped to her tightly corseted stomach before returning to her still-widened eyes.
“Oh, no, waiting is not a good idea.”
Innocence (A Forbidden Love, Book 1)
Lindsey Gray (Author on Author Book Review) – This novel seems more like that of a seasoned historical romance novelist than a debut. The knowledge of the time period and customs is breathtakingly accurate. Ms. de Sallier’s portrayal of Lisa and her struggle to understand the world that was taking shape around her was brilliant and a thrill to experience. All the differences between Nathaniel and Lisa are quite evident from the start, but Ms. de Sallier’s depiction of their attraction and intimacy make them perfect for each other.
I devoured the 313-page copy I received in one day. I don’t even recall the last time I enjoyed reading a book of that length and read so incredibly fast. I highly recommend this book to any historical romance lover. If you enjoy the novels of Rose Gordon or Christine Merrill, Innocence should be the next book on your to be read list. See full review HERE.
Andrea Whittle (Penny Dreadful Book Reviews) – From it’s elegantly designed cover to its superb writing, Innocence is a skillfully constructed Regency. It is so convincing in its historical guise that I was shocked when I read that it originated as a Twilight non-canon fan fiction. See full review HERE.
N. Kubie – Have you ever read one of those books where once you get into it, you can’t put it down? Meals, work and even family become annoying distractions that take you away from reading? Well, Innocence is one of those books. I literally brought it with me to go shopping and read it in the parking lot and even the checkout line…
…The intensity between Lisa and Nathaniel is undeniable, palpable and scrumptious. Everything I look for in a romance, historical or modern. But add to that the wonderful details in manner, speech and dress and you feel transported to another time.
I’m so anxious to read Protection, the next installment (which is due in the Spring), to see how this love story continues! See full review HERE