This is the third installment in the Idyllwild series and if I thought the first two were great this one is just mind-blowing extraordinary!
Georgie Buchanan is intent on finding a secret when she meets Henry, Earl of Hastings. She is most definitely not his type (or so he thinks) but she is so elusive and sensual in her own way that he falls head over heals for her. She does her best to stop herself from developing feelings for the charming earl but nothing she does seems to help and she ends up falling for him as well.
For all the outstanding lover and demimonde man Henry boasted to be, he was just a sweet, ingenuous boy that had lots to learn and Georgie was more than willing to be the teacher that procured the lessons. She indulged him when it served her purposes and loved him as far as her mind allowed her. But her true goal was not to secure a husband or even fall in love, oh no! Her true goal was to uncover a secret that had affected her since the day she was born and once she had exposed it for all the world to see, she thought she would liberate herself from a burden she’d been carrying all her life.
The story in itself was raw and honest. There were plenty of moments of pure, intense, and palpable human emotions just jumping out of the page. I wanted to scream and cry at the though of what Georgie (and countless other women) had to go through to be accepted and recognized in a society full of hypocrites. Henry was a caring man that wanted nothing more than have Georgie with him yet he was unable to see her as her own person with her own needs. On the other hand, there were moments I wanted to scream at Georgie for being so cruel with Henry, for breaking such a devoted, warm-hearted man; although in all honesty cruel might not be the right term because Georgie was just being Georgie and she was not being cruel, she was just opening his eyes to the reality of a world he had never set a foot in, either by choice or by lack of necessity.
The whole story was just perfect. It was a roller coaster of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. By the end of the book I had called Henry a sweet man, a rake, a cad, and I think I finally settled on sweet man again. Georgie was just spectacular; I don’t think I’ve ever read a more complex heroine with that many moral flaws (given the times) with such a peculiar way of seeing life. In my mind, it’s like each ruined the other by opening their hearts to something new and unexpected and I didn’t understand it until I got to turn the last page. They ruined each other in the most perfect of ways; they ruined each other by falling in love.
~ 5 glowing stars.
** I was gifted a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review **