A Lady Awakened by Cecelia Grant

Redonk Nutshell: Newly widowed woman makes a deal with local rakehell to impregnate her so she can retain rights to her husband’s estate

This book has gotten a lot of buzz and I was really, really looking forward to reading it for myself.

Martha Russell is a newly made widow and she’s desperate to hang on to her husband’s estate.  Not for herself, mind you, but for her staff and the neighbors in her country home.  Why you ask?  Because her husband’s brother would inherit and he has a reputation for cornering and violating women.  The only way for Martha to keep her estate is for her to produce an heir.  She knows she’s not pregnant, but no one else does.  So she decides to take matters into her own hands and enter into an “arrangement” with her new neighbor, Theophilus Mirkwood.

A Lady Awakened follows in somewhat predictable regency formula, but what makes this freshman publication stand out is the tone of our heroine.  She’s a stoic woman, a person that doesn’t waste time in complicated emotional investments.  She can come across as cold, but Martha herself isn’t without heart.  It’s literally just how she’s programmed.  And our hero, Theo, struggles to realize that about her.  His attempts to seduce her result in Epic Failure.  Once these two finally settle into a routine they’re both somewhat comfortable with, THAT’S when the threads begin to tangle.

While I enjoyed Ms. Grant’s book, I wasn’t swept away by it.  I very much enjoyed the refreshing tone.  This isn’t a regency romance you can breeze through.  It requires you to slow down and relish, her writing style imbued with little details and relishes that are worth savoring.  Despite my initial disappointment, I still enjoyed this book and I look forward to meeting Ms. Grant’s next characters.

A Lady Awakened by Ceceila Grant, 346 pgs, 12/27/11

Rating: B-

Romance: 3/5            Raunch: 3/5

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