If you're keen on passion in a past era, you shouldn't miss this bewitching romance. In between Jane Eyre and Rebecca, this novella has taken me by surprise with its atmospheric writing, sensual characters and mysterious plot.
Mr. Markham, a brooding man recently widowed, offers his protection to his late wife's cousin, Miss Leavold, when she's orphaned after her brother's demise. Under these gloomy circumstances, they meet and become entranced with one another. Her quiet beauty beckons him, his powerfully intense countenance tempts her. All the while, rumours of deceit and murder surround the man Miss Leavold has been entrusted to.
What an absorbing story. I was easily seduced because it has fluid narration when it spins the mysterious events around Violet's death. Al the while, chaste but not demure Ivy uses her wits to find out more about Mr. Markham. He's aloof, secluded, but oh so tempting.
The author weaves a tale of forbidden sensuality where whispers of danger only add to the razor-sharp chemistry. And let me tell you, the encounters between this predestined lovers are strongly arousing. As they grow in intensity and heated intimacy, Ivy realises she's at her master's complete mercy, though he's always collected and she yearns to mean something to him, to disturb his control in a fierce way. I loved it when he tried to avoid compromising her, but gave in to her sort yielding to pleasure.
Then things take an unexpected turn. One that surprised me a lot. I wouldn't have favoured such a distraction from the main couple but I have to admit it was terribly naughty and lewd. Beautifully written, of course, but it felt a little bit of an intrusion to the bubble of intimacy and possessiveness between Mr. Markham and Ivy.
Regardless, this illicit passion was so exciting to read and feel, especially set in this period. I couldn't tell if Mr. Markham was guilty of all the horrid deaths of his wives. And Ivy writes in doubts and lust over him. Then, the end of the story came upon me and I got mad because it was just a pause of a first part! The Education of Miss Leavold will have the secrets I crave, but I don't own this second part. Also I was thrilled that the story actually didn't end because that meant there is more of this beautifully written, teasingly erotic, romantic mystery, and I do want more ;o)
For the past seven years, I'd followed my impulses wherever they led me, and it was too late to stop now.
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The Awakening of Ivy Leavold
(Markham Hall Series Book #1)
Author: Sierra Simone
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Day: January 12, 2015
Synopsis:Yorkshire, 1879I am alone.When Ivy Leavold is left destitute by her brother’s death, she is taken in by her cousin’s brooding, tortured widower--Julian Markham. Handsome and possessive, it’s not long before Ivy falls for him. But Mr. Markham has dark secrets, secrets that may put Ivy in danger...I am afraid.As Ivy unravels the mystery surrounding her cousin’s death, she falls deeper and deeper in love with Julian, who opens her body and her mind to his indomitable will. But even as he draws pleasure and desire from her night after night, Ivy can’t shake the feeling that their passionate affair may end in violence…And I am completely his.
About the mastermind:
Sierra Simone is a librarian who writes unabashedly sexy books with brains, beauty and big words. She lives with her hot cop husband and family in Kansas City.
Good luck, book buddies!