I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
He possessed Amalie by the moon's sultry glow and sent her to the white-hot limits of ecstatsy. But by day, her husand, Julien Declouet, remained aloof. Who was this myserious man whose languid caress and sweet seduction she craved? Yet deep in her heart, she knew the answer. Her midnight lover was not her husband, but his handsome cousin, Robert....
Cheesy blurb apart...
Yes another one with the plotline of heroines husband not being up to the task of giving his wife a child.Of wich I have been reading several of late.
The heroine Amalie has been married for near to 3 months to the charming,handsome and rich Julien Declouet. She should count her lucky have gotten such an ideal husband at her advanced age (24) especially since she had figured herself to be firmly on the shelf before he proposed to her.
But in the months since their marriage he hasnt managed to consume the marriage.And the times he did make an attempt he started crying and ran away. You can guess what Amalie feels about this.
Thinks shes plain but not sure shes ugly enough to cause
gentlemen to run off crying
The story starts when Amalie walk in on her mother in law (called M´mere) and a unknown man who she is introduced to and learns is her husbands cousin Robert Farnum.She finds him pleasant enough (and looks quite a bit like her husband Julien)but there seems to be some tension between her husband and his cousin,wich she finds strange when she learns they are actually supposed to be good friends.
She puts this out of her mind when she is visited by her husband one night and their marriage is finally consumated.She is so happy,she feels she must be the luckiest woman in the world.She had thought it would be a burden,but her husband made their time together pleasurable.
But why does he act so strangely in the morning? Like they hadnt shared a life changing experience at all? She feels shy about confronting him about it since she does live in the victorian era after all.
I can say I liked this book even if with this type of plotline its usually an excuse to cram it full of sanctified extramarital sex scenes. But while there are some sensuous love scenes (once in a summmerhouse to boot) It never drifted into what I would call gratitious.
I found the hero and heroine to be a good match and both to be very likeable and earnest people. It was very touching how their relationship was described (when heroine didnt even know he was her midnight lover)
Something that people can find troubling is that this is 1850s/40s(?)Louisiana and there are plantations and yes you guessed it -slavery.
This made me dock a star from my review.
Heroine nor any of the other characters even contemplate that its wrong to enslave somebody.(brief mention was made of abolutionists though)
Amalie does try to care for her "people" and even take an interest in a young slave boy who shows a talent for drawing.But she feels bad about her encouragement since it would be a shame to waste such a gift.But if she doest it she might raise expectations that will never be met,making the boy miserable when he realizes the truth.
I found this book to have three parts.First part is the heroine getting introduced and "intimately" acquainted with the hero. Some will find the notion that Amalie couldnt tell her husband and cousin apart ridicilous but I found that I could suspend disbelief and let this one pass.Maybe Amalie supressed this thought since she was so happy to be a real wife at last.
The second part is Amalie having growing doubt about her nightime lovers true identity and it finally coming out in the open. Wich ignites a conflict between Julien,his mother and Robert. spoiler>
Things get even more tricky when(show spoiler)
The third part is Amalie and Robert trying to come to terms with their own actions and mend things between them.and then there is(show spoiler)
The ending was maybe a bit rushed for somes tastes but the couple had been through so much already and I felt that they could understand each other perfectly.
Maybe not for all on account of the slavery,but I found this a gritty,emotional story.