A LADY AWAKENED (A Blackshear Family #1) by Cecilia Grant
Mass Market Paperback, 346 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Bantam
Genre: historical romance novel
Rating: 5 stars plus
Two thumbs up! 5 stars plus! When Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas meets When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn (two of my all time favorite historical romances) the result is A Lady Awakened, the superb debut novel by Cecilia Grant.
Beware, this is not your ordinary historical romance: from the prose true to the historical period, to the choice of an original plot, to the absolute lack of romantic involvement between the protagonists (at least in the first part of the book), ALA stands out as unconventional and fresh. Despite the initial slow pace, the lack of emotional and physical connection between Martha and Theo, their relationship evolving from a mere business transaction to mutual admiration and finally love, is mesmerizing.
Great story, deep insights in the characters motivations, beautifully told! Reading this book has been like watching a beautiful flower blossom, slowly but relentlessly. I particularly loved Theo's character, a reformed rake with a big heart. He just needed to find a real purpose in life to awaken his true generous and giving nature. He is a lovely and sexy hero, endearing and able to melt even the hardest of hearts, Martha's.
Just one and not that relevant complaint: it feels like the conclusion of the book is a little rushed. Or maybe it just feels that way because the general pace of the narration has been slow up to that point. However, I wish CG had focused on the happy outcome of Martha's and Theo's relation even with the addition of a brief epilogue, showing how their union turned out to be a splendid love-match, a real friendship and a great business partnership. I look forward to CG next great novel A Gentleman Undone.