Reckless and wild, beautiful Lily Lawson delights in shocking proper London society and in breaking any rule to flaunt her independence. Now she′s determined to rescue her sister from an undesirable marriage to the ruthless Alex Raiford, the arrogant Earl of Wolverton. She succeeds in rescuing her sister, but in the meantime Alex decides that Lily must be his. He has resolved to make her pay dearly for her interference—with her body, her soul... and her heart.
Comment: I've had this book in the pile for more than 3 years. I always thought it would be a good one so I let it "marinate" until I thought it was a good time to read it. This year I was determined to go through my Lisa Kleypas' collection and this month this one was up.
This is the story of Lily Lawson, a young woman with secrets hidden behind a facade of wildness and reckless behavior. When she knows her younger sister is going to marry the earl of Wolverton and it's not a love match, she is set to make things right and allow her sister to be with the man she really has feelings for. What she didn't count was falling into Alex's web and in time everything about her comes out, even her heart.
I liked this story so much! I think it was well thought and well done. The author did a good job with the characterization of the characters and the pace by which they start falling in love, meaning, it wasn't either too fast or too boring. The story itself could have been slightly different in one thing or another to better suit my personal tastes, but overall, I had such a great time reading and being involved in the plot, I really can't say there were bad things to change.
The characters were all well thought and used to place the pieces together. From Lily's parents' behavior and attitudes that somehow shaped her growing up to the aunt that helped her to Lily herself and how she is when she meets Alex and who she becomes by falling in love. I think the author did a good job and creating all the different types of people in the book, how every aspect of themselves was done to better oppose what was expected of the other characters when they were interacting, for example, Zach's sweet and innocent disposition suiting Lily's sister but being a contrast to herself.
Lily was the key character, of course. We learn about her past little by little and that's a good tactic to keep the reader willing to know more. We know more than the other characters but information isn't given all at the same time, thus ruining the experience of seeing her change and evolve. I believe Lily's character to be strong and very incisive, because she was reckless, she thought she knew better but she learned her lesson. The only thing she could have done different was to confess to Alex about her secret. I think the author could have used that a different way, a good way at that, without losing the drama effect it looked for. Another interesting tidbit that was really well done was how Alex himself reacted to the secret. I can't praise enough the author by not making him go to a rage or into a superiority behavior towards her, but instead he listened and helped her. Really exceptional.
I think the romance was balanced. I liked who they were together. I liked how we got the sense of slow pace and time going by while they grew up in their love and in their affection. It was both sweet and more believable. I liked how Alex realized Lily was special and he could be special for her too, even if not using these words. They suited each other very well and we have several scenes where we can see this. It's another good tactic by the author to insert scenes like that so the reader can be assured of the feelings in cause.
The book has many elements useful in an historical, the society rules, the society types of people, the expectations...I think the plot itself was good enough, it provided enough mystery to give a certain atmosphere to the book, but not too much to make it unbalanced.
I think the plot worked and was aided quite well by the pace of the story.
I was very intrigued by the romance and the way it influenced the other's behavior and how that, in turn, provoked changes in the plot's development. All in all, a wonderfully successful effort.
I was really impressed with this one and since I've heard marvelous things about the follow up, which I'll read next month, my expectations are high. I hope to be as amazed as I was with this one. A great read, many wonderfully done things.