Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Review of Passion and Propriety by Elise deSallier
I first became acquainted with the work of Elise deSallier when she was writing some of the highest caliber fan fiction I have ever read; her stories were positively addicting, and as I wrote review after glowing review, we began to correspond, especially regarding our experiences with chronic illness.
Then she republished my favorite fan fiction story, A Forbidden Love in two parts: Innocence and Protection. A few weeks ago, I reviewed these two volumes which together tell the tale of the lovely and brave Annaliese and her marquis. With such compelling characters and edge-of-the-seat plotting, I enjoyed the published novels just as much as (if not more than) the original fan fiction story.
After republishing her very popular and success fan fiction, Elise deSallier started writing a new series called Hearts of Honour, the first book of which is Passion and Propriety. When I read the opening chapter of this new book at the end of Protection, I was immediately hooked and quickly obtained a copy…which I read from first to final page in well under 24 hours. Yes, it was that good—and yes, it surpassed Innocence and Protection by a mile…even several miles. ;)
The unlikely heroine, Hannah, daughter of the village rector, nurses the cursed Viscount Blackthorn when he returns to his ancestral home to die from wounds encountered on the battlefield. Refusing to amputate his infected arm, William Blackthorn chooses to die rather than lose his limb and endure life as a cripple. Hannah enlists the help of her lifelong friend and talented herbalist, and together they save Blackthorn’s arm and his life.
Why does Hannah take on nursing a stranger in his ancestral home, unchaperoned? Hannah is nearly thirty and is considered by the townspeople to be a spinster; in addition, she recalls fond memories of playing with William when they were children. But William returns not only on the brink of death but also with a terrible curse: the wives of the last several Viscounts Blackthorn, including William’s own father, have lost their wives to childbirth. Thus, William plans to never marry and thus to carry the curse to his grave.
But thanks to Hannah’s dedicated nursing, he survives. And the events that unfold as the story progresses are riveting indeed. The characters are wonderfully human and believable; they stole my heart and my imagination immediately. The story lines are complex yet clear; each twist and turn is surprising yet makes perfect sense. (Caution: contains some detailed intimate scenes.) I was positively spellbound by this book, and I am thrilled that Elise de Sallier has at least two more books planned for this series. If they are as amazing as Passion and Propriety, I shall be a very happy reader indeed.
Link to Passion and Propriety Amazon page for purchase
Link to Elise deSallier's Amazon site
Link to Elise deSallier's Goodreads page