“When I see you, I remember that you made me want to drown rather than be myself.”

He’d never understood what regret meant until now.  It wasn’t the pallid sort of wish he’d entertained before. He wished he could reach inside himself and take back what he had done. He didn’t want to be himself any longer.

Title: Unlocked

Author: Courtney Milan

Redonk Nutshell: A reformed tormentor redeems himself with his former victim

Official Synopsis: A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back. Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love…

Courtney Milan has a skill in writing characters that are realistically yet intricately flawed and tormented.  I love that about her books.  We readers can relate to her characters on a certain level while escaping into their story. She has a way of making us bleed along with the characters when their hearts break.

Unlocked in a novella (only in e-format) of about 100 or so pages, telling the story of embattled Elaine and her eccentric, yet brilliant mother.  They were targets of the ton’s popular Earl of Westfeld’s acerbic gossip. Westfeld leaves England for awhile, and upon his return he singles her out once more.  Only this time he’s claiming he wants to make up for his hurtful actions.

This was a heart breaking and wonderful story.  It stands as a fantastic example of the ramifications of bullying, only luckily in this case we get a happy, fairy-tale like ending.  Unlocked is what a novella should be – poignant, independant and enduring.  For $0.99, you seriously can’t go wrong.  I mean it.  Buy it.

Rating: A

Romance: 4/5            Raunch: 3.5/5

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