Welcome to my post for the Illicit Love book tour! This book was fantastic! I have a review coming up, as well as a guest post from the author. But, first, allow me to introduce the book:
Ellen Harding longs to be free of the life she is trapped in - her husband died at the battle of Waterloo and her family disowned her and now she lives under the reign of a cruel protector. When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines escaping her chains for a night by giving her body to him – to a man of her choosing – even if only to infuriate her captor.
But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her and her subconscious whispers that this man could save her. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her ever being free. She has too many battles to fight.
Edward is restless, lonely and a little angry with his lot in life – it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking and he cannot take his gaze off of her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes. But once he’s known her he cannot forget her - and once he’s seen how brutal her protector is, how can leave her with the man? But she will not run anymore than she will speak of her past, so how can he help her…
My Rating: 5 Roses
Darkly romantic and full of deeply buried secrets, this book was absolutely fantastic! Illicit Love was a different historical romance, but one that I adored.
The idea for this book was different. A lady forced into being a courtesan to a brutal man? That's a new one for me. And I absolutely loved that about it. This book took on a daunted plot and totally pulled it off.
Ellen was remarkably strong. A single mistake in her past created a chain reaction that ruined her life. And, at the end, she was mistress to a cruel man, unable to run away. She was very selfless in her decisions, always putting the welfare of others first. She was a brilliant heroine, one of my favorites in historical romance. If I had one thing to say against her it would be that I don't understand why she didn't go to her family. I know why she didn't go to her father, but why not anyone else? I understand that she didn't want to pull them into the bad situation she was in, but if it were me, I still would have gone to my family. Other than that small issue, I really liked her character.
Edward was equally amazing. He was never one to shirk responsibility. And, when he found a woman in a terrible situation whom he fell in love with, nothing was going to stop him from keeping her safe. He was stalwart in his determination to keep Ellen out of harm's way. He was utterly brilliant, so sweet and determined and protective and just perfect. I adored him!
The romance was intense. The sparks were flying the minute these two caught eyes. And it got HOT. Those intimate scenes, very spicy, though never overdone. But, more than that, their feeling were very deep and I felt that as I read the book. They fell in love quickly, but it never felt rushed to me. There was somewhat of a darker aspect to their relationship, considering Ellen's past, and it added a deeper element. I thought they were a wonderful couple and the romance was extremely well done.
The other characters all had depth. None of them were completely one sided. All of them felt realistic.
The plot was excellent. It was fast paced and had me hooked immediately. There were tons of thrills and secrets as Ellen tried to shed her past. And tons of emotional drama as she faced her demons. Like the romance, the story as a whole had a darker aspect that added a deeper element. And the ending was just perfect.
Illicit Love was a top notch historical romance! Lovers of the genre, you must read this book!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Jane is qualified to the equivalent of a Masters Degree in People Management and is fascinated by the things which craft people's personalities, so she has great fun exploring these through characters. She lives in the United Kingdom near the Regency City of Bath and has just bought her 400 year old dream home. History has always tempted her imagination and she loves researching and also exploring ruins and houses to get ideas. She equally loves a love story.
Jane has always aspired to writing a historical novel so when she was thirty she put it on her ‘to do before I am forty’ list. She completed her first novel ten years ago, never sent it anywhere then started the next. She’s not stopped writing since, and escaping into a mental world of fiction is a great painkiller to help fight off her Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Jane is a member of RWA, RNA, and the Historical Novel Society.
Plot development – punctuating a story as you would a film
A little while ago, I posted an article on my hints and tips blog, about how people have a tendency to draw information in, either with sight, hearing or touch. Like the majority of people I have an intense visual leaning.
When I write, I see a scene in my mind’s eyes, I don’t need to think it through even, because it plays out in my head like a film, and when I have to stop writing, it is as though my mind presses pause. So, all I do when I write, is try to capture what I am seeing in my head, in words that will allow my readers to see these images too.
It is a little bit more than that though. My personality is naturally very empathetic, and perhaps it’s this empathy which submerges me in the emotion of my characters. So when I see these images, I am not just seeing them but feeling what I imagine these people are feeling.
Recently I wrote a scene where two characters were in the midst of an argument, which might tear them apart. I had to leave the story and couldn’t write as I had to do something else. I carried their pent up, concerned and heartbroken emotion around with me all day until I could get back to writing, I felt exhausted when I came back to the page.
So, with these two, very strong, aspects which tend to pull me through a story, I do very little plotting. My plots spin from a single image, and are often only recorded on my laptop in one paragraph.
When I begin writing, I generally know the beginning middle and end. But in between?
Well, my head throws me in and out of scenes, led by emotion and images, very much in the format of a film. As a film cuts from scene to scene, capturing only the key moments which build a story and lead you through, and that is what my head tends to do. It skips across crucial points in the story to build it.
I have had to cut scenes, if a story becomes too long though. But again then I think of this in a film aspect, as scenes are cut from films. I stand back and look at all the scenes and think which one might not be essential to the plot and the development of the character’s relationship.
If Illicit Love was a film, the lead male would be, Ben Barnes, who starred in Dorian Gray, and the lead female would be, Natalie Dormer, who played Anne Boleyn, in The Tudors.
If you read, Illicit Love, I value feedback, so please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or any other site you like. You can also let other readers know what you think on the Illicit Love Book Club page.
I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you for this chance to speak about the images which inspire me.