"A Lady Awakened"
By: Cecelia Grant
Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?
"A Lady Awakened" is Cecelia Grant's debut novel. I originally picked this book up because I was hearing so many varied reviews. Some people REALLY liked it, and some people didn’t see the appeal. It even had glowing recommendations on the cover from two of my favorite authors, Eloisa James and Mary Balogh. So, when I found this book at a local bookstore, I just had to try this one out.
I’m not really sure what to say about this book besides, it may be the most boring book I’ve ever read. The writing reminds me a little of Mary Balogh’s early writings, but is completely without the characterization or even the interesting storylines. As a reader, you don’t care for the characters at all. I strongly disliked both the hero and the heroine. I kept reading, thinking it was going to get better…but it simply never did.
Theopolis, our hero, was supposed to be this silly city boy. Yet, we never see any evidence that he is either silly, nor more accustomed to the city. Martha, or Mrs. Russell as she is referred to through most of the novel, is a staid, calm, nervous, shy widow. I think perhaps throughout the novel she is supposed to grow, and again, I didn’t see any real evidence of it. Both characters seemed to be the same at the end as they were at the beginning. Neither character shows much passion and the love story between the two is pretty contrived.
I doubt I will be reading anymore of Ms. Grant’s books. I hate to read a book and dislike it, especially after so many people really enjoyed it. Frankly put, everyone has different opinions. Some people really liked these characters and some people didn’t. I fall into the latter category but hope in the future I may enjoy her books.
Date of Publication: December 27, 2011
Page Number: 368