If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Review: The Earl's Complete Surrender by Sophie Barnes / @TastyBookTours @BarnesSophie

Series & Title: Secrets at Thorncliff Manor, Book 2: The Earl's Complete Surrender
Author: Sophie Barnes
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: December 29, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: Edelweiss
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours

An unexpected passion ignites as secrets are exposed in Sophie Barnes's captivating Regency-set romance

Despite the diversions offered at Thorncliff Manor, former spy James, the Earl of Woodford, has one purpose in staying there. He must find an encoded book that exposes a conspiracy within the British aristocracy. And he must do so without revealing his purpose to the clever, tempting Chloe Heartly. The lady has a knack for appearing wherever it is least convenient. In the library. In the salon. And, especially, in his arms . . .

Somewhere within Thorncliff's labyrinth of rooms lies the journal Chloe desperately seeks. When she realizes the brooding, handsome earl is hunting the same quarry, Chloe enters into an uneasy partnership. But in the face of public danger and enemies hiding in plain sight, both must decide how much they're willing to risk to solve the mysteries of the heart.

Other books in this series

Chloe's aversion to remarrying didn't make sense. She was still young, beautiful by written accounts, and incredibly intelligent. But she's cautious, and it made me wonder, "What happened?" It saddened me that her late-husband treated her unfairly, and it angered me that his former mistress delighted in tormenting her by reminding Chloe she wasn't enough to keep him in her bed. It was a shame for a woman who felt so deeply had given her heart completely to a man who didn't deserve it.

After meeting James, a man who was the complete opposite of her late-husband, I wanted him to be the man who deserved to claim it, keep it, cherish it. Their relationship was rocky; they seemed to act and speak differently than they meant to. Their run-ins at Thorncliff were filled with buried feelings and conversations that almost always ended on a harsh or awkward note. Yet, the attraction between them grew which was beautiful to watch.

It took them by surprise but their individual needs for self-preservation kept them from acting on that attraction from the beginning. But I was okay with that. Given the travesty of Chloe's marriage and the real reason for James' attendance at Thorncliff, I liked that they took it slow.

This was my first historical romance of the year, and I'm happy it was. The story moves slowly, there is absolutely no sex, the attraction builds, and the mystery woven into this romance ends with a surprising twist. It's been a while since I've read a Regency romance that was sweet/sensual and moved at such a leisurely pace. Both were a welcome change for this reader.

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parsons. But, most impressive of all, she's been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses. While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion: writing. When she's not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

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