This is the second installment in the Idyllwild series but as far as I could tell it could definitely be read as a standalone.
Olivia is a woman that although sheltered and outwardly quiet, has always had a buried salacious nature. She was raised to be proper lady, a proper daughter, then later in life, a proper wife, so she never had a chance to set her true nature free. But as she stumbles upon Jack, the man that once inspired feelings she didn’t know existed, she makes the decision to become the woman she always wanted to be: free and wicked.
“…I’m not a woman you want to trifle with today.”
“No,”… “You are a woman to be reckoned with.”
Ah! Olivia and Jack exploded with blazing, molten passion! I’ve read other steamy historical stories but this book went beyond that. I wouldn’t even call it erotic (although by definition that’s what it is) because the way their relationship was handled was too personal and deep. She started off as a woman with a curious mind and he of course was only too happy to oblige.
I liked that as the relationship grew, she still sounded a bit naïve yet strong enough to go for what she wanted. When they fought the way they reconciled their differences made the fight worth it. And the things they BOTH said and/or did had me laughing, gasping, or wanting to slap them both upside the head for their idiotic or naughty behavior. At any rate, it was a pleasure to see how their relationship evolved and reached their HEA.
Now, about the plot excluding the romance. There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with it but there were times it felt a bit unbelievable given the times it was set. And I don’t mean the sex scenes, because as I’ve said, I didn’t mind those at all but for example, the conversations some of the ladies were having with male company present had me questioning the historical accuracy. Then again the story is not your typical clean romance so I guess their conversations could be expected to be more risqué?
Some SPOILERS AHEAD:
Also, there were other arcs that I thought were incomplete. Olivia’s older child was called “precocious” but I never understood what the point was of her being that way. Olivia’s mother makes an appearance again (she’s first introduced in the first book) and offers a side of her that I can only refer to as unhinged. Olivia does worry about her but after that we don’t know more of her or her health. I can only hope we find out more about them in the next book. SPOILERS over.
All in all, it was a great read and it has reaffirmed Lynn Barron as an autobuy author for me. 4 stars.
** I was gifted a copy of this story by the author in exchange for an honest review **